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Reprint Advisory Committee, 
Modern Foreign Coins 

James W. Curtis John F. Lhotka, Jr. 

John S. Davenport Phares O. Sigler 

Laurence L. Howe V. Clain-Stefanelli 

J. Hewitt Judd 
Charles M. Johnson, Chairman 

Reprint Publishing Committee 

P. K. Anderson Elston G. Bradfield Richard S. Yeoman 
Charles M. Johnson, Chairman 

Copyright 1961 American Numismatic Association 
Whitman Publishing Company 
Racine, Wis. 


712 BROADWAY, N. Y. 3 


The current interest in coinage, sweeping and unchecked, has made this 
volume a necessity. 

A devoted committee of numismatic scholars gave freely of their time to 
cull from past volumes of The Numismatist the best, the authoritative, the 
significant. These articles span three quarters of a century of American 
numismatic research. 

Although many have collaborated in the preparation of this volume, we 
are deeply indebted to Charles M. Johnson, Chairman of the A. N. A. Re- 
print Committee, whose imagination, enthusiasm, and indefatigable effort 
brought this project to success. 

The American Numismatic Association proudly sponsors thrs publication. 
We salute the worthy contributors of today. We turn in gratitude to the 
pioneer numismatic scholars of yesterday who from these pages speak to us 
again across the fading years. 

May this work inspire new interest in our heritage and keep before us the 
majestic story of the painful climb of man from cave dweller to space explorer. 

Oscar H. Dodson 

President, American Numismatic Association 


We respectfully dedicate this book to the American Numismatic Associa- 
tion and its officers and members; to The Numismatist; to the many authors 
whose contributions to The Numismatist have made this book possible and 
to the pleasure and intellectual enrichment of the hobby of numismatics. 

Charles M. Johnson, Chairman 
A. N. A. Reprint Committees 


With the widespread and increasing interest in numismatics, a growing 
number of collectors of coins, tokens, paper money and medals are seeking 
information on all phases of the subject. Their quest for knowledge has been 
sharpened as they learn more and more of the fascinating associations between 
numismatics and history, politics, economics, art and other fields of human 

The pages of The Numismatist, official monthly magazine of the American 
Numismatic Association, contain a storehouse of informative and authoritative 
articles published in the last seventy-two years. Thousands of these articles 
make up a numismatic heritage, products of patient study, research and writ- 
ing by dedicated numismatists of the past and present. As there are relatively 
few individuals or libraries having all or even a substantial number 
Numismatist issues, these numismatic papers are unavailable to many 

At its 1959 Portland, Ore., convention, the American Numismatic As- 
sociation met this challenge by deciding to reprint selections of outstanding 
Numismatist articles of past decades and offering them in book form as 
inexpensively as possible. Selection and publication were entrusted to three 
committees of numismatic specialists by President O. H. Dodson. Charles M. 
Johnson, originator of the project, was named chairman. One committee 
was charged with searching for and selecting studies having to do with 
numismatics of the United States and American colonial days. The second 
committee's activities included ancient, medieval and modern foreign coinages 
and related items. The third committee's work encompassed all four volumes 
(two concerning the United States, a third given to ancient and medieval 
subjects and the fourth on modern foreign fields), and consisted of the de- 
tails of editing, organizing, publishing and advertising. 

The resulting volumes are not intended to be complete treatises on any topic 
or section of numismatics. Many long and specialized series could not be 
reprinted because of space limitations. Selected pieces have neither been 
changed nor revised. Committee members are aware that some errors exist, 
that later research and findings have rendered some conclusions obsolete, or 
that other shortcomings are present, but they decided to keep each volume 
a book of reprints. 

To minimize the varied typography and different formats used during 
nearly three-quarters of a century, headings have been reset to bring about 
more uniformity. For ease in finding, articles are grouped topically in the 
Table of Contents. 

Preface (cent.) 

Readers wishing more details are referred to the section "For Further 
Reading." This listing of other Numismatist articles of importance offers a 
valuable starting point for added study. Many of the selections in the 
ancient and medieval volume as well as the foreign work incorporate their 
own bibliographies. 

For more exhaustive studies, use of the two Numismatist indexes is sug- 
gested. Both are in the A. N. A. Library. The earlier index, covering the 
years 1888 through 1938, is out of print but is sometimes available for 
purchase from dealers or at auction. That indexing the years 1939 through 
1958 may be bought from the A. N. A. Librarian. 

Homage is due all Numismatist contributors, both living and dead, without 
whose devotion and efforts American numismatics would still not have 
matured. May today's collector find their writings as entertaining, as 
stimulating and as enlightening as did our numismatists of old. Elston G. 


The four books in The Numismatist reprint series are: 
Selections from The Numismatist: U. S. Coins 
Selections from The Numismatist: U. S. Paper Money, Tokens, Medals, 


Selections from The Numismatist: Ancient and Medieval Coins 
Selections from The Numismatist: Modern Foreign Currency 



The American Numismatic Association (A. N. A.) 5 with over 20,000 
members in every state of the Union and many other countries, is the 
largest and most active numismatic body in the world. It was founded in 
1891 at Chicago, III, through the efforts and encouragement of Dr. George 
F. Heath, Monroe, Mich. By Act of Congress in 1912 the Association was 
incorporated under the laws of the United States. 

Annual A. N. A. conventions are sources of intellectual profit and en- 
joyment to all who attend. Internationally known speakers are heard at 
educational forums. Splendid numismatic exhibits attract wide attention 
and are viewed by thousands. 

Under its charter, the Association's objects are to encourage and pio- 
mote the science of numismatics by the acquirement and study of coins, 
paper money, medals and tokens; to disperse numismatic knowledge; to 
assist new collectors, particularly the young; to cultivate fraternal rela- 
tions between collectors and numismatic organizations both within the 
United States and in other countries; to maintain a numismatic library 
for the use and benefit of its members; and generally to represent coin col- 
lectors' interests as a national organization. 

As a major factor in its aims to disperse numismatic knowledge, the 
A. N. A. publishes The Numismatist, a monthly periodical which is care- 
fully edited and fully illustrated. It is devoted exclusively to articles and 
information on numismatic subjects and activities. Started in 1888 by Dr. 
Heath, this magazine has been issued continuously ever since. In its seventy- 
three years, The Numismatist has had only nine editors: Dr. Heath, 1888- 
1908; Farran Zerbe, 1909-1910; Albert R. Frey, 1911; Edgar H. Adams, 
1912-1915; Frank G. Duffield, 1915-1942; Lee F. Hewitt, 1942; Burton H. 
Saxton, 1943-1944; Stuart Mosher, 1945-1954; Elston G. Bradfield, 1954 
to date. Containing from 128 to 144 pages in each issue, The Numismatist 
reaches readers in more than sixty countries every month. 

A. N. A. membership is open to worthy persons seventeen years of age 
or older who have a sincere interest in numismatics. Members, except As- 
sociate, receive The Numismatist without cost other than the annual $5.00 
dues. Application for membership must be accompanied by the first year's 
dues of $5.00 plus $2.00 admittance fee. Nonmember subscription to the 
magazine is $6.00 a year. For application blanks, subscriptions or gen- 
eral information, write the A. N. A. General Secretary, Lewis M. Reagan, 
P. O. Box 577, Wichita, Kans. 

General Information (cont.) 


President REAR ADMIRAL O. H. DODSON, USN (Ret.) Detroit, Mich. 
First Vice President G. G. SHROYER, Fremont, Ohio. 
Second Vice President MATT H. ROTHERT, Camden, Ark. 
General Secretary LEWIS M. REAGAN, Wichita, Kans. 
Governor P. K. ANDERSON, Gotebo, Okla. 
Governor COL. JAMES W. CURTIS, Springfield, 111. 
Governor ROBERT G. McARTHUR, Oakland, Cal. 
Governor JOHN J. PITTMAN, Rochester, N. Y. 
Governor ARTHUR SIPE, Drexel Hill, Pa. 
Editor ELSTON G. BRADFIELD, Chicago, 111. 
Advertising Manager S. W. FREEMAN, Newpork, Ark. 
Treasurer HAROLD R. KLEIN, Hinsdale, 111. 
Librarian JOHN J. GABARRON, Lincoln 10, Nebr. 
Curator VERNON L. BROWN, New York, N. Y. 
Historian JACK W. OGILVIE, Hollywood, Calif. 
Custodian of Slides MICHAEL M. DOLNICK, Chicago, 111. 
Legal Counsel HARRY LESSIN, Norwalk, Conn. 
Assistant to the Editor GLENN B. SMEDLEY, Oak Park, 111. 
Assistant to the General Secretary DON SHERER, Phoenix, Ariz. 
District of Columbia Representative ELDRIDGE G. JONES, Washington, 
D. C. 

Reprint Advisory Committee, 
Ancient, Medieval and Modern Foreign Coins 

JAMES W. CURTIS, Springfield, 111. 

JOHN S. DAVENPORT, Galesburg, 111. 

LAURENCE L. HOWE, Louisville, Ky. 

JOHN F. LHOTKA, Oklahoma City, Okla. 

PHARES O. SIGLER, Silver Springs, Md. 

V. CLAIN-STEFANELLI, Washington, D. C. 

J. HEWITT JUDD, Omaha, Neb. 

CHARLES M. JOHNSON, Long Beach, Cal., Chairman 

Reprint Publishing Committee 

P. K. ANDERSON, Gotebo, Okla. 

ELSTON G. BRADFIELD, Chicago, 111. 

RICHARD S. YEOMAN, Racine, Wis. 

CHARLES M. JOHNSON, Chairman, Long Beach, Cal. 


(Dates in parentheses indicate issue of The Numismatist) 

Foreword. Oscar H. Dodson, American Numismatic Association, President 2 

Dedication. Charles M. Johnson, Chairman of Reprint Committees 2 

Preface. Elston G. Bradfield, Editor, The Numismatist 3 

General Information on the American Numismatic Association 5 


Canadian Card Money. Col. Phares O. Sigler. (Sept., 1956) 9 

The Money of Canada from the Historical Viewpoint. R. W. McLachlan. (Dec., 

1915) 20 

Decimal Coinage of Canada and Newfoundland. Fred Bowman. (Mar., 1947) . . . 26 


A Brief Review of the Coinage of Colonial Mexico 1536-1821. Dr. Ray H. 

Wilson. (Aug., 1952) 37 

Ancient Exchange and Its Survival to Modern Times in Mexico. Courtney L. Cof- 

fing. (July, 1949) 43 

The Mexican Eagle. Raold Gerard. (Jan., 1950) 47 

Twentieth Century Mexico. Robert C. Cahall. (Oct., 1943) 52 

Early Mints of the New World. J. Verner Scaife. (May, 1950) 54 


The Coinage of Venezuela. Thomas W. Voetter. (Dec., 1934) 65 

The Last Colonial American Cobs 1823-24. Arnold Perpall. (July, 1945) 71 

Countermarks in Brazilian Numismatics. Chas. A. Baumann. (Dec., 1942) 74 


Henry Christophe from Slave to King. Hugh Kelly. (April, 1940) 82 

Notes on the Coins of Curacao. Thomas W. Voetter. (June, 1934) 86 


The Story of English Coinage. H. A. Seaby. (Mar., 1949) 90 

English Coins? Why Not? Charles G. Colver. (Jan., 1959) 100 

English Regal Copper Coinage. Charles V. Kappen. (May, 1950) 104 

Mottoes and Inscriptions on English Coins. Raymond J. Walker. (Sept., 1942) 112 


"Numismatic Tattooing." P. K. Anderson. (Aug., 1954) 116 

The Coinage of Spain. P. K. Anderson. (Jan., 1953) 122 

The Ephemeral Coinage of Spain. P. K. Anderson. (Sept., 1952) 140 

The Coinage of the Spanish Provisional Government of 1868. F. Xavier Calico. 

(Dec., 1948) 144 


The Currency of France. George Requard. (Apr., 1937) 155 

Napoleon Emperor of the French Republic. Shepard Pond. (April, 1939) 161 

Napoleon and His Family. Feori F. Pipito, M. D. (June, 1953) 167 

The Assignats. Shepard Pond. (Jan., 1935) 175 

Louis D'Or. (July, 1941) . 184 

The Coinage of a Phantom King. Arthur C. Wyman. (June, 1924) 186 


Outline of Russian Numismatic History. I. Snyderman. (Feb., 1942) 189 

Origin of the Ruble. Dr. A. M. Rackus. (April, 1934) 192 

Czarist Coins of Platinum. Roy W. Osburn. (May, 1955) 194 

The Origin of the Kopeck. Dr. A. M. Rackus. (Aug., 1930) 195 

Rubles of Peter the Great. A. E. Kelpsh. (Mar., 1949) 198 

Copper Coins of Russia and Poland. O. P. Eklund. (June, 1939) 212 

Russian Beard Tokens, Randolph Zander. (Dec., 1948) 233 

Monetary Misery of Germany in the Old Times. Dr. Joseph P. Reich. (Jan., 

1949) 239 

The "Champagne Thaler." Shepard Pond. (May, 1941) 241 

The "Blessings of Heaven." Thaler of Ludwig I of Bavaria. Michael M. Dolnick. 

(Dec., 1955) 243 

The Thalers Talk of Their Home Towns. Dudley Butler. (June, 1943) 246 

Saxon Monetary Systems. William D. Craig. (Jan., 1949) 249 

Notes of the Origin, Development, Designations and Weights of the German Talers. 

Charles E. Weber. (May, 1953) 252 


Money of the Chinese Communists. E. Kann. (Aug., 1955) 258 

A Brief History of Chinese Silver Currency. Cheng Te K'un. (Nov., 1942) . . .261 

Methods Used in Dating Chinese Coins. Clifton A. Temple. (June,, 1934) 269 

Coinage of the Ming Dynasty. John G. Watson. (Mar., 1932) 271 


The Coinage of Finland. David M. Bullowa. (March, 1942) 275 

The Commemorative Coins of Belgium. Dr. John S. Davenport. (Feb., 1940) . .277 

The Coinage of Poland, Joseph F. Sawicki. (Sept., 1939) 280 

Philippine Guerilla Currency. Gilbert S. Perez. (Jan., 1949) 288 

Copper Coins of Sweden Plate Coins. O. P. Eklund. (Sept., 1941) 295 

The Coinage and Currency of Australia, J. Hunt Deacon. (April, 1929) 301 

The Coinage and History of Liberia. Ernst Kraus. (Feb., 1939) 310 

Notes on the Coins of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta. Alfred Fisk 

Grotz. (April, 1941) 313 

For Further Reading 318 



Phares O. Sigler 


IT IS sometimes claimed that the 
paper currency issued in 1690 
by the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay to pay the troops returning 
from an expedition to Canada after 
the French and Indian Wars, was 
the first paper money issued in 
America,^ but Canadian playing 
card currency had made its appear- 
ance five years previously. One 
economist 2 observed that the Mas- 
sachusetts colonist became familiar 
with the success of the Canadian 
card money and suggests that this 
may have given that colony the 
idea of issuing paper money. 

Thanks to the labors of Adam 
Shortt, who edited the excellent two 
volume work entitled Documents 
Relating to Canadian Currency, Ex- 
change and Finance During the 
French Period,? we are now able 
to obtain the complete story of this 
interesting card money which is one 
of the world's most unique curren- 
cies. A brief discussion of the eco- 
nomic and social conditions in early 
Canada, or New France as it was 
sometimes called, and a summary 
of the history of playing cards, may 
be helpful in furnishing a founda- 
tion for a better understanding of 
the origin and use of this odd 

The permanent occupation of 
Canada by the French was the re- 
sult of three voyages which Cartier 
made to New France from 1534 to 
1541. On his last trip he erected a 
small fort at Quebec and made a 

futile effort to found a colony 
there. Starting about 60 years later 
with immigrations by a few French 
fishermen, who soon learned that 
it was more profitable to barter 
with the Indians for their furs than 
to fish, the population of Canada 
grew slowly as adventurous French- 
men settled along the St. Lawrence 
River on narrow strips of land run- 
ning back from the shore line. 
France's primary objective in North 
America was the development and 
exploitation of the fisheries and the 
fur trade and restoration of the 
depleted royal treasury, so little 
encouragement was given to farm- 
ing and the first colonists barely 
produced sufficient food for their 
own immediate needs. Later, how- 
ever, when they had small sur- 
pluses they disposed of the excess 
to their neighbors. 

Canada was first governed by 
merchants who had been granted 
monopolies by the crown, but the 
rule was taken over by Louis XIV 
in 1663, and delegated to a governor 
and an intendant, who were aided 
by the bishop and a board of coun- 
cillors. The governor was usually a 
military man of noble birth and 
held the highest but not always the 
most powerful position. The in- 
tendant was generally a lawyer or 
business man of the middle class, 
and the administration of finances 
was one of his most troublesome 
and laborious duties. 

Many of the commercial trans- 
actions in the early days in New 

1. Kane, Joseph N. Famous First Facts,, 1934, p. 149. 

2. Lester, Richard A. Monetary Experiments, 1939, p. 41. 

3. Note: Hereafter this work will be cited by author's last name, volume and page. 

Specimens of Canadian playing 1 card money. 


France, as in most primitive com- 
munities, were conducted by barter, 
and moose and beaver skins were 
standards of exchange. Payments 
were also made in some sections in 
wildcat skins, a blanket being 
worth eight "cats." The few French 
and foreign coins which found their 
way into the Canadian wilderness 
were over-valued by royal decree 
in an unsuccessful effort to keep 
them from leaving the country. 
Canadian money was counted in 
livres, sols and deniers, and it was 
only a coincidence that their abbre- 
viations, L, s, and d, were the same 
as the English abbreviations of the 
pound, shilling and pence. Until 
1717 the livre was worth 15 sols 
in Canada, and the sol was "worth 
12 deniers. Because of the scarcity 
of copper and silver, wheat was 
at one time made legal tender for 
the payment of debts. 4 The short- 
age of silver led to a report that a 
certain intendant, upon learning 
that a settler had a silver spoon or 
fork, sent out and seized it, forcing 
the unlucky owner to take card 
money in payment.5 The early in- 
habitants were not unduly disturbed 
by the monetary situation, and from 
October until May their social sea- 
son, consisting of considerable visit- 
ing, dancing and card playing, was 
in full sway. 


Playing cards may have been 
handed down from the ancients as 
contended by some, or invented by 
the French, as maintained by 
others. At any rate they were 
known in France as early as 1361, 
and it is related that Charles VT 
used them to while away the time 
during an illness. Card playing in 
time became very popular with all 
classes of Frenchmen. France soon 
became the chief card manufactur- 
ing center of Europe and as late as 
1696 card making was one of the 
principle trades of Rouen. During 

the 17th and 18th centuries French 
cards were exported to England, 
Italy, Spain, and to most of the 
other large European countries. 6 
The backs of the early cards were 
plain, which led to the practice in 
France and in colonial America of 
writing messages and invitations on 
them, and sometimes they were cut 
into quarters and the pieces used 
as calling cards. Playing cards were 
used as tickets to gain admission 
to classes at the University of 
Pennsylvania as late as 1765.? 

The French deck consisted of a 
pack of 52 cards having four suits 
marked by cups, swords, coins and 
batons. The cards were made by 
pasting together sheets of thin 
paper and pressing them in a screw 
press. The name of one of the cards 
in the French pack was ar de 
deniers,, the "ace of money", which 
was prophetical of its later use as 
currency.8 The cards were usually 
made in sheets and the colors ap- 
plied to the face by means of a 
stencil after which the sheet was 
dried, heated, soaped and polished 
with a stone while still hot. The 
finished sheet was then cut into 
single cards. 9 

The only mention which can be 
found of an attempt to manufacture 
playing cards in Canada appears in 
a petition addressed to the in- 
tendant in 1693 praying for the 
privilege of making playing cards 
and the sale of glass in all of the There is little doubt that 
this request, insofar as it pertained 
to the cards, was denied because 
future records not only fail to men- 
tion the local manufacture of cards 
but contain numerous references 
to their importation into Canada 
from France. 

Card playing, consisting of both 
games of chance and of sociable 
games, was a very popular pastime 
with the French troops in Canada. 
The games were frequently en- 
livened by requiring the loser to 

4. Wittke, Carl - A History of Canada, 1942, pp. 23-25. 

5. Snortt I, p. 227. 

6. Benham, William G. Playing Cards, 1931, p. 12. 

7. Hargrove, Catherine P. A History of Playing Cards. 193O, p. 286. 

8. Moriey, Henry T. Old and Curious Playing Cards, 1931, p. 97. 

9. Hargrove, Supra, pp. 299-301. 
1O. Idem. p. 45. 


wear a cleft stick somewhat like a 
clothes pin on his nose until his 
luck improved. 11 


In 1682 Frontenac, the Canadian 
governor, was recalled to France 
leaving all of the worries of state 
to the intendant, Jacques de 
Meulles, whose imposing title, 
"Seigneur of La Source, Knight, 
Councillor of the King in his Coun- 
cils, Grand Bailiff of Orleans, In- 
tendant of Justice, Police of Finance 
in Canada and the Northern Terri- 
tories of France," was of little help 
in the solution of his problems. 
When the annual pay ship failed 
to arrive from France with funds 
to meet the expenses of governing 
the colony, his first concern was the 
payment of the troops and other 
government creditors. These annual 
ships were eagerly awaited by the 
inhabitants and officials because, 
in addition to bringing money, they 
brought news dispatches from 
France, new settlers, and greatly 
needed supplies. 

Even the extreme expedient of 
farming out the soldiers to work 
for the settlersis did not relieve 
the acute financial situation and 
de Meulles was desperately in need 
of funds. In the past Quebec mer- 
chants who had found themselves 
in similar circumstances had issued 
to their creditors written promises 
to pay certain sums in merchandise 
rather than in money and Shortt 
indicates that this practice may 
have given the hard - pressed in- 
tendant the answer to his money 
dilemma.13 Be that as it may, de 
Meulles, like many of his successors 
in government financing, began to 
look around for a supply of paper 
suitable to initiate a temporary 

Shortti4 says "The lack of suit- 
able paper and printing materials, 
led him [de Meulles] to resort to 
the only available substitutes, the 
packs of playing cards, obviously 

11. Cory, Melbert B. War Cards, 1937, p. 4. 

12. Shortt, I, p. 69. 

13. Shortt, I, footnote 2, p. 61. 

14. Shortt, I, p. x 1 i x. 

15. Angell, Norman The Story of Money, p. 258. 

imported by the merchants to meet 
a popular demand." It is of little 
importance whether he "requisi- 
tioned all of the packs of playing 
cards possessed by the troops"is 
or whether he purchased them from 
local merchants, but in view of the 
failure of the official records to 
cast any light upon this subject, 
the latter would seem the more 
likely. At any rate the first issue 
of card money appeared early in 
the year 1685. 

In a proclamation issued on June 
8, 1685, de Meulles masterfully at- 
tempted to vindicate his action in 
issuing the card notes by enumer- 
ating the reasons which 'compelled 
him to do so. This reads, in part, as 
follows : 

"Duly considering His Majesty's 
lack of funds and the need -which we 
have experienced of money for main- 
taining and subsisting the troops, the 
general having been obliged to give 
permission from the 25th day of last 
April to all the soldiers of each of the 
10 companies that are in this country 
to work and hire themselves out to 
the inhabitants in order in that way 
to help them obtain certain means of 
living until His Majesty sends us new 
funds; . . . we, after having subsisted 
the said troops from our own re- 
sources and through our credit for 
the period of four or five months, and 
considering the scarcity of money in 
the country, and the inability of the 
shop keepers and others to lend any 
at present; and after having consid- 
ered all the measures that we could 
take for the maintenance of the 
troops, have judged [it] suitable to 
have notes issued signed by us with 
the seal of our arms and our paraph 
on the back of them, of which the 
only denomination shall be 15, or 40 
sols, or four livres, in order to pay all 
of the officers of the said companies 
as well as all the men who do not 
find work or who are not in condition 
to work; Declaring that all the said 
notes shall serve them as ready 
money, and that we shall hold them 
good alike for the soldiers and the 
people of the colony, when they fall 
into their hands, assuring them that 
they shall be paid from the first funds 
which His Majesty will surely send 


us by the vessels of the present year. 
And in order that in the meantime 
they may serve everybody as current 
money, we forbid all persons of what- 
soever quality and condition to refuse 
any of them, or to sell their supplies 
for them dearer than customary, 
under penalty of 50 livres fine for the 
benefit of the poor of the hospital of 
this city. And whereas it might hap- 
pen that some rogues might forge our 
sign manual and in that way deceive 
those who do not know how to read 
or write: We Declare that criminal 
proceedings shall be taken against 
those who are bold enough to attempt 
that, and that suit shall be brought 
against them as against forgers and 
robbers of the royal funds. . . . 

"Done at Quebec the 8th day of 
June, one thousand six hundred and 

Montgomery!? states that none of 
the first issue of card money has 
ever been located although a dili- 
gent search has been made for 
specimens in both Canada and 
France, but that an ^Englishman 
visiting Canada in 1805 reported 
seeing one of them which bore de 
Meulles' signature. Montgomery 
also claims that the cards were 
first cut in quarters, but that after 
the first two issues, the entire card 
was used.18 This is only partly 
correct. It is true that whole cards 
were later used for larger denomi- 
nations, but cut cards also appeared 
in subsequent issues. 

The larger denominations were 
frequently signed by both the gov- 
ernor and the intendant, although 
the smaller denominations were 
usually signed by the intendant 
only. The card money had the value 
written on it; some bore the gov- 
ernor's seal, others a stamp at the 
top, while still others had a stamp 
in each corner. The stamp usually 
consisted of a fleur de lys on a 
pedestal with a wreath of small 
fleur de lys around it. 19 Cards of 
the smaller denominations, for ex- 
ample those of 30 sols, 15 sols, and 
seven sols six deniers, were usually 

merely paraphed by the governor 
and the intendant.20 Later issues 
bore the signature of the agent of 
the treasurer of the marine at Que- 
bec in addition to those of the gov- 
ernor and intend ant.2i Most, if not 
all, of the cards were so cut that 
the denomination of any issue could 
be ascertained from its shape. 22 


Shortt divided the card money 
into two periods, the first dating 
from 1685 to 1721 during which the 
cards were issued by local authority 
only, and the second period from 
1729 to 1760 during which they were 
authorized by the king. The original 
1685 issue of card money was fol- 
lowed by another in the ensuing 
year which got into circulation 
prior to the receipt of a message 
from France vehemently denoun- 
cing the plan of using the carols 
for currency and ordering the prac- 
tice to be discontinued immediately. 
The king apparently was apprehen- 
sive that the easy money card plan 
would encourage the colony to be 
extravagant and that the royal 
treasury would eventually be called 
upon to foot the bill, 2 ^ to say noth- 
ing of the danger that the money 
would be easily counterfeited. In 
1690, however, part of the supplies 
sent to Canada were lost en route, 
and the intendant, with the ap- 
proval of the governor, again re- 
sorted to card money. Another issue 
followed in 1691, after which sev- 
eral issues appeared from time to 
time but, not being reported to the 
home government, little detail has 
been preserved concerning them. 

When Intendant Champigny re- 
turned to France in 1702, most of 
the card money which he had 
created remained unredeemed. The 
War of the Spanish Succession 
which, started in 1701 soon resulted 
in France being in even worse fi- 

le. Shortt, I, pp. 69-72. 

17. Montgomery, Paul The Romance of Canada's Money, 1933, p. 6. 

18. Idem. p. 5. 

19. Shortt, I, p. 213. 

20. Shortt, II, p. 777. 

21. Shortt, I, p. 327. 

22. Lester, Richard A. Monetary Experiments, pp. 39-40. 

23. Idem. p. 40. 


nancial condition than previously. 
Upon Raudot's arrival in Canada as 
intendant in 1705, he was unable to 
redeem the card money in circula- 
tion so he made the most of a bad 
situation by having an ordinance 
passed in October providing for its 

number of 50 livres were issued and 
put into circulation, this being the 
first tune cards of such large de- 
nominations were employed. As a 
safety measure the 100 livre pieces 
were written crosswise on black 
backed cards, and the 50 livre 

Card money of the second period. 

uniform circulation as money. Rau- 
dot did gain a slight concession 
from the crown, which later proved 
to be an opening wedge, when he 
obtained permission to issue new 
cards to replace those in circula- 
tion which were old and torn. This 
was the first official recognition of 
this medium of exchange. In 1710 
it was again found necessary to 
make an issue in cards of two, nine, 
16, and 32 livres, and in 1711, 3,000 
cards of 100 livres and an equal 

24. Shortt, I, p. 213. 

pieces were written from top to 
bottom on red backed cards. 24 

The end of the war found 1,600,- 
000 livres of the playing card 
money in circulation in Canada and 
this led to inflation. Prices in- 
creased fourfold and the merchants 
and habitants who had produce to 
sell raised their prices accordingly, 
but the less fortunate soldiers and 
government employees were paid in 
the depreciated currency and found 
their pay shrinking rapidly in pur- 


chasing power. Apparently more 
cards were put into circulation in 

1718, again due to the failure of 
the supply ship to arrive from 
France, but their issuance ceased in 

1719, and a year later they were no 
longer in evidence. 


By 1729 Canada was in a very 
bad financial condition because 
most specie had been returned to 
France leaving little hard money 
in circulation. Petitions to the home 
government resulted in the king 
assenting, in March of that year, 
to the issuance of 400,000 livres of 
new card currency. This consisted 
of 4,000 cards of 24 livres each; 
10,000 each of three, six and 12 
livres; 20,000 of one livre 10 sols 
each; 50,330 of 15 sols each; and 
70,004 of seven sols six deniers 
each. 25 Blank cards had been or- 
dered from Paris but two -thirds of 
the shipment were soaked in water 
when the vessel carrying them was 
wrecked, so the regular playing 
cards were used for part of the 
above issue. 

Having consistently opposed the 
card monetary system for years, 
some "face saving" move was now 
necessary so the king's ordinance 
authorizing the currency reviewed 
the colonial financial situation, con- 
sidered various proposed remedies, 
and then said: 

"In the discussion of all these means 
none has appeared adequate except 
that of the establishment of a card 
money, which may be received in His 
Majesty's stores in payment for pow- 
der and other munitions and goods 
which are sold there, and for which 
there shall be furnished bills of ex- 
change on the treasurer general of 
the marine in office at the time."26 

No mention was made of the fact 
that the card money eliminated the 
risks and expenses of shipping 
specie to Canada, nor that it was 
a very inexpensive method of financ- 
ing the colony. No new card money 
seems to have been issued from 

1720 to 1730, but an additional 60,- 
000 livres was issued in 1731 with- 
out waiting for authority from 
France, In 1733 the crown increased 
the original authorized amount 
from 400,000 livres to 600,000 and in 
1742 a further issue of 120,000 livres 
was authorized. Two years later 
France and England once again 
went to war, and in 1749 the card 
money was increased from 720,000 
to 1,000,000 livres. Its issuance con- 
tinued from time to time until 1760, 
which marked the end of the second 
and last period. 

The currency of this period dif- 
fered little from that of the earlier 
issues with the exception that after 
1730 the cards employed were plain 
on both sides, thus being less color- 
ful and romantic than the earlier 
cards. The colonial records disclose 
that in 1729 a request was made 
for 2,000 sets of cards "blank on 
both sides, to provide for the mak- 
ing of the card money ordered by 
His Majesty."27 

Army officers in various remote 
sections of Canada who became 
hard pressed for currency began to 
write out orders on the treasurer 
in Quebec, or his deputy in Mont- 
real, to obtain the necessary pur- 
chasing power needed to carry out 
their missions. These orders cir- 
culated from indorser to indorser 
until they finally reached Quebec 
where the treasurer cashed them 
with card money.28 


In addition to circulating in Que- 
bec, Montreal and Three Rivers in 
Canada, playing card money to the 
extent of 6,000 livres was prepared 
and put into circulation in Acadia, 
the original French name for Nova 
Scotia. On Nov. 25, 1703, Monsieur 
de Brouillan wrote to the French 
Court officials that the increased 
expenses of fortifications "obliges 
me to follow the example of Can- 
ada, in making use of card money, 
-without which I would not have 
been in a position to have the work 

25. Shortt, II. p. 599. 

26. Shortt, if, p. 589. 

27. Shortt, II, p. 599. 

28. Heaton, Herbert "Playing Card Currency in French Canada." (In American Eco- 
nomic keview, Vol. 18, pp. 649-662, Dec. 1928) . 


carried on." 29 This action met the 
prompt disapproval of the king, as 
might have been expected, but the 
card money continued in circulation 
until December, 1708, when a re- 
lieved colonial official informed the 
king that the card money had been 
withdrawn and his personal notes 
given in substitution therefor. He 
complained that the holders of the 
notes were continually bringing 
them to him to be broken up into 
numerous sums so that they could 
be employed in their business. 30 
The prohibition of the card money 
did not cure the monetary ills of 
Nova Scotia, however, because the 
chaplain of the garrison at Annapo- 
lis Royal in 1710 requested that 
strict orders be given that the 
troops be paid in money instead of 
in liquor. 31 

It is a little known fact that card 
money was also in circulation in 
the colony of Louisiana.32 Dumont, 
in his memoirs 33 refers to Louisiana 
paper money in denominations from 
50 sous to 50 livres and states: 

"For the advantage of such as could 
not read, they were made so that by 
mere inspections a man could tell the 
value of his note by the way it was 
cut. In the middle were the king's 
arms, with the number of the note on 
one side and the payee's initials on 
the other. The value was marked be- 
low thus: 'Good for,' etc. These cards 
were signed by the treasurer, com- 
mandant, and commissary ordinator." 

He added that they were traded 
for bills of exchange on France; 
that it was made unlawful to refuse 
them in trade; and that despite all 
precautions taken, considerable 
numbers of counterfeit notes ap- 
peared in circulation. 

The following reference to the 
above currency appears in the 
memoirs of Chevalier De Cham- 

"In Louisiana this paper -was signed 
by the intendant, comptroller and 

treasurer; every year a certain quan- 
tity was withdrawn and bills of ex- 
change on the royal treasury in 
France given instead. Nothing was 
better planned. Sales and exchanges 
were at once facilitated, and the con- 
nection between the colony and the 
mother country strengthened. The 
war of 1744 multiplied expenses and 
prevented drawing bills of exchange. 
The quantity of paper spread in the 
place exceeded the sums destined by 
the government of the colony. It was 
in consequence called in, the holder 
losing 2/5's of the value a signal 
fault, though represented as necessary 
and indispensable, but which has 
greatly impeded the progress of the 


Since the home government had 
always refused to have the card 
money printed in France, it was 
necessary to write each card labori- 
ously by hand, and this practice was 
even continued after the king or- 
dered the cards to be used. In a 
letter dated Oct. 25, 1729, a Cana- 
dian official wrote to France re- 
questing 2,000 sets of playing cards, 
each pack containing 52 cards, in 
order that new cards could be made 
in case the current issue was coun- 
terfeited, adding: 

"Unless you would prefer, my lord, 
to give orders in Paris to have the 
money prepared, ... by this means a 
considerable labor will be avoided by 
the controller of the marine, who 
would be more usefully employed in 
working at financial matters, or in 
relieving Mr. Hocquart in his part of 
his service for which he is so emi- 
nently suited."35 

In another letter dated Oct. 15, 
1737, a colonial official wrote: 

"My lord, we entreat you that these 
cards should be made and engraved in 
Paris. Sr. Varin, controller of the 
marine, would, at least, have to em- 
ploy five continuous months of his 
time in writing and signing 235,000 
cards, and we little less. You will 
have no difficulty in understanding, 
my lord, that the business of the col- 

29. Shortt, I. p. 125. 

30. Shortt, I, p. 189. 

31. Shortt. Adam Documents Relating to Currency, Exchange and Finance in Nova 
Scotia, 1675-1758, Ottawa 1933. p. xxv. 

32. Lester, Richard A. Supra, p. 55. 

33. French, Benjamin F. Historical Memoirs of Louisiana, 1853. pp. 27, 28. 

34. Idem. pp. 134-135. 

35. Shortt, II, p. 599. 


ony, which engages us virtually all 
the year does not permit us to attend 
to this work."36 

Again, we find an intendant com- 
plaining that signing the card notes 
occupied him for an endless amount 
of time in the course of the year 
and required the full time of two 
clerks in his office to write the 
cards. 37 


When the first cards issued were 
presented for payment they were 
paid out of funds finally received 
from France. Later, however, be- 
cause of financial difficulties in 
France, only a portion of the funds 
ordered were received and at other 
times goods were sent instead of 
specie. When national credit almost 
disappeared in 1713 the French gov- 
ernment began to utilize the credit 
of its larger cities and the king of- 
fered to redeem the colonial cards 
at par in four per cent securities 
of the city of Paris. However, only 
about 81,000 livres of card money 
out of more than 2,000,000 livres in 
circulation were so converted. As 
noted heretofore, inflation set in 
and prices increased rapidly. The 
king in 1714 offered to redeem the 
outstanding cards at one-half face 
value in silver coins, but this was 
not finally accomplished until 1720, 
after which date the card money 
issued prior thereto was declared 
worthless. A plan to redeem the 
cards of the second issue in bills of 
exchange in Paris proved unsatis- 
factory, only 250,000 li^f s being 
turned in during 1730; 136,500 > livres 
in 1731; and 63,000 livres m 1732. 

The colonists preferred the more 
durable cards which were not paid 
when due, to the bills of exchange, 
which likewise were not paid 
promptly. As Raudot aptly pre- 

*"It is true that the colony of Can- 
ada will suffer somewhat ^ by these 
cards, it being quite certain that it 
will buy French merchandise cheaper 
if it pays for them in Coined money 
and not in cards, for which the mer- 

chant received only bills of exchange 
which, for the most part, are not met 
at maturity."38 

When the cards were officially 
redeemed, they were carefully in- 
spected to avoid the acceptance of 
counterfeits, then came to the 
tedious task of recording and burn- 
ing them. This process was almost 
as time-consuming as the original 
preparation of the cards. In 1762 
the king ordered all of the card 
money remaining in circulation to 
be presented for redemption. 

The data concerning the destruc- 
tion of redeemed cards frequently 
supplements the scanty official re- 
ports of various issues. For ex- 
ample, one record of cards de- 
stroyed on Oct. 27, 171039 shows the 
burning of the following cards is- 
sued during the years 1702, 1705, 
1706, 1709 and 1710: 835 of the 32 
livres denomination, 593 of the 16 
livres, 181 of the eight livres, 807 
of the four livres and 350 of the two 

After the close of the war, Eng- 
lish and French merchants sent 
goods to Canada at a great dis- 
count. The shrewd French Canadian 
settlers bought the goods at the 
rate of 100 in card money for 15 
in goods, which resulted in most of 
the card currency ending up in the 
hands of London merchants or their 
agents. Upon final settlement some 
bills of exchange were paid in full 
but most at half value, and cards, 
orders and notes were redeemed at 
only % of their value and even then 
payment was made in bonds instead 
of cash. The British held so many 
cards that they insisted on a better 
settlement and received an addi- 
tional 3,000,000 livres. By 1776 the 
bonds exchanged for the cards were 
worthless so the wily Canadians 
who had converted their cards into 
goods came out away ahead in the 
long run. 


It is little wonder that some 
counterfeits of the card money 

36. Shortt, II, pp. 649-651- 

37. Shortt, II, p. 699. _ 

38. Shortt, I, pp. 157-159. 

39. Shortt I 5S1. 


made their appearance when it is 
remembered that so many different 
denominations and issues were in 
circulation from year to year, many 
becoming so badly worn and muti- 
lated as to tempt even unskilled 
forgers to copy them. At first this 
threat gave the local authorities 
little concern because, as one of 
them had pointed out, most of the 
natives were not clever enough to 
be good counterfeiters and any at- 
tempt to utter forged cards was 
quickly detected and the offender 
brought to justice. The ease with 
'which this money could be imitated 
was one of the king's primary ob- 
jections to it, and as early as Sept. 
5, 1685, the local authorities ad- 
mitted that a few of the cards had 
been forged. In 1690, Pierre Mali- 
dor, a surgeon, was found guilty of 
counterfeiting 11 cards of the value 
of four livres each and was sen- 
tenced to "be beaten and flogged 
on the naked shoulders by the 
king's executioners . . . furthermore 
to make good the value of said 
cards forged by him, and to pay to 
the king a fine of ten livres. The 
said Malidor is also condemned to 
compulsory service for three years 
. . ."40 Local officials asked clem- 
ency for John La Haye, an Irish- 
man, and one John Joublin, an Eng- 
lishman, because their forgeries 
were so poorly done that they were 
easily detected.41 

The threat of death to the coun- 
terfeiters of card money in 1691 did 
not entirely stop the practice and 
several culprits were condemned to 
hang but upon appeal received 
lighter sentences.42 Camille Ledoux, 
of Quebec, was sentenced to have 
his arms tied behind his back for 
three years, from 1702 to 1705, an 
event depicted by Ripley in one of 
his "Believe It or Not" cartoons. 
The following notice was posted at 
Quebec in Nov. 14, 1730: 

"All persons of -whatever quality or 
condition they may be, who have 
knowledge of the whereabouts of one 

Le Beau, short in stature, wearing a 
brown wig, face pock-marked, eyes 
black and small, and a little sunken, 
stammers slightly, are ordered to no- 
tify us, or even to arrest him, we 
promising those who bring him to us 
the sum of 300 livres, in addition to 
the expense they have incurred in 
bringing him in."43 

In January, 1731, one Pelletier 
was arrested for making counter- 
feit card currency and sentenced to 
banishment from the colony for his 
life time. 44 Later it apparently be- 
came necessary to impose more 
drastic penalties on forgers and the 
intendant, in a report to the king 
dated Sept. 25, 1736, stated: 

"I have the honor to address to you 
a copy of the judgment I rendered on 
the second of July last, acting as a 
court of last resort with the legal 
number of colleagues, against the in- 
dicted persons, Louis Mallet and 
Marie Moore, his wife, inhabitants of 
the parish of St. Laurent, Isle of Or- 
leans, who were declared, accused and 
convicted of the making and issuing 
of counterfeit card money and con- 
demned to the penalty of death, which 
they suffered the same day. All their 
goods [werel acquired by, and con- 
fiscated unto the profit of, His 



As indicated, records were ap- 
parently not kept of all of the card 
money issued since they were not 
made public. It was impossible to 
tell how much of the currency was 
in circulation from time to time 
until in 1762 when, as stated before, 
the king ordered all holders of the 
cards to make a declaration of the 
amount held by them, failing which 
the money would not be redeemed. 
An indication of the scale upon 
which the money was hoarded is 
revealed in the report of the gov- 
ernor and intendant in October, 
1741, to the effect that of the 600,- 
000 livres of card money in the 
colony, only about one-third was 
in circulation, the rest being 

40. Shortt, I, p. 87. 

41. Shortt, I, p. 277. 

42. Shortt, I footnote p. 85. 

43. Shortt, II, p. 617. 

44. Short, II. p. 619 

45. Shortt, It, p 679. 

hoarded.46 The lack of accurate 
records doubtless resulted in a huge 
profit to the issuers since numerous 
cards were lost or destroyed and 
never offered for redemption. This 
is reflected in the following- exerpt 
from official records concerning the 
issues of the second period: "That 
the king should benefit by the 
bonus of the cards which will not 
be returned is but fair, the king 
having paid the cost of providing 
them."47 NO mention was made of 
the fact that the cost was a very 
small fraction of the face value of 

The inadequacy of records made 
the officials at Paris suspicious of 
the card money. A report dated 
December, 1715, in referring to the 
governor and intendant, said: 

"They have been sole and absolute 
masters of the issue and renewals of 
these cards: no one whosoever in Can- 
ada knows the real use that has been 
made of them. Accounts of them are 
equally unknown to them. However, 
they propose to the merchants and 
habitants the loss of one half, and 
they are likely to lose the whole . . . 
whilst a considerable portion of this 
immense sum has perhaps been em- 
ployed for the private uses of those 
who are masters of their issue."48 


The esteem in which the card cur- 
rency was held in Canada and a 
clue to the reasons why it was pre- 
ferred over paper notes is well illus- 
trated by the following excerpt 
from the petition^ which the mer- 
chants of Quebec addressed to the 
king <m Nov. 3, 1740: 

"The lack of circulation of the card 
money makes trade in this country 
more and more impossible from year 
to year; the notes or ordinances 
which have been given currency owing 
tn the lack of this money cannot take 
its nlace The inhabitants of the col- 
ony do not willingly accept these notes 
because not knowing how to read, 
f-hpv fear being deceived over them, 
and are desirous of exacting payment 
-n rards whose value they easily can 
tSil bv their shape alone. The cur- 
rency of these notes presents practical 
difficulties in buying the necessaries of 
n f e and for daily expenses. They will 
it make exact change without much 
trouble they tear very easily, or they 
are held especially by country people 
and day laborers . . ." 

When the British took over the 
vniP in Canada, the card money 
^ased to circulate and by 1763 
metal coins became the chief media 
of exchange. 

_ n e 21 503 
PP- -> 169 1 171 
1853 * 

46. Shortt, I, LXXVII. 

47. Shortt, I. p. 325. 

48. Shortt, I, p. 329. 

49. Shortt, it, pp. 705, 707. Aft Q 

50. Coin Collector's Journal, March-April, 1947, p- *. 


Angell, Norman The Story of Money, pp. 257-26 (X 
Benham, William G. - Playing Cards, 1931, pp. ^'^ 
Cory, Melbert B. War Cards, 1937. 
Douglas, James- Old France in the New WorZ 
Edgar, Pelham - The Struggle for a Continent, 
French, Benjamin F. - Historical Memoirs of L 
Hargrave, Catherine P. - A History of Playing 
Heaton, Herbert - "Playing Card Currency of 

Economic Review, v. 18, pp. 649-662 V e 
Jeffreys, Charles W. - The Picture Gallery 
Kane, Joseph N. - Famous First Facts, 1934, P- 
Lester, Richard A. - Monetary Experiments 
Montgomery, Paul - The Romance of C anad 
Morley, Henry T. - Old and Curious Playing 
Sandwell, Bernard K. - The Canadian People,^ 
Shortt, Adam Documents Relating to 

Finance During the French Period, !9'^ wrv 
Shortt, Adam Documents Relating to Currency, 

Nova Scotia, 1675-1758, 1933 p. xxv. -^cal Educational and Playing 
Van Rensselaer, (Mrs.) John King - Prophetic^, 

Cards, pp. 30-32. 
Wittke, Carl A History of Canada. 

^ American 


History, vi. pp. 252-254. 
**< y , 

p 7 5 
Currency Exchange, and 

Exchange and Finance in 




R. W. McLachlan 

The following address was delivered by Mr. R. W. McLachlan of Montreal, 
Chairman of Section II of the Royal Society of Canada, at the meeting- of the 
Society at Ottawa, May, 1915. The address has been printed in pamphlet form 
with plates illustrating seventy of the coins and tokens, two of the specimens 
of card money, -and one of the boodlers' /promises to pay, as well as a descrip- 
tive explanation of the plates: 

Gentlemen: When our General Secretary advised me that, as chairman, of 
Section II, I was expected to give an opening address, I concluded that I could 
not do better than present one phase of Numismatics my favorite study. 

While money, with which the subject deals, is designed in the main for the 
economic purpose of providing counters by which the barter of commodities 
can be arranged between parties, often unknown to each other, sometimes living 
far apart, it is possible to view it from other standpoints. One of these, which 
may be styled the artistic, deals with the -art displayed in the -designs, embossed 
by the makers, on their metallic counters. This display is more notable in the 
money of ancient Greece than on that of any other country. 

Another viewpoint from which the circulating medium of a country can 
be studied is the greater or lesser incidents of history thereon recorded, either 
designedly or incidentally. Thus the 'coinage of a people, as that of Rome under 
the Empire, may be truly regarded as their condensed and enduring metallic 
history, or, as in the coins of the same people under the Republic, a repertoire 
of their genealogy, or, as in the money of Bactria, serve to reveal long-forgotten 
and otherwise unknown kings and dynasties. 

And further, from that of the numismatist, who takes up the classification 
and arrangement of these counters chronologically, geographically and politi- 
cally, as well as economically, artistically and historically. 

Now, as there are some here better able to speak on the economical side of 
this question, and as the artistic side does not well come within the province 
of this Society, and as the numismatic side, dealing mainly with technical 
details, will not prove interesting to laymen, I have thought it best to take up 
the third of these phases, and, as the subject is so extensive, to confine my 
remarks to "The Money of Canada From the Historical Standpoint." 

This, too, while Canadian money offers few if any references to great events 
in our history, and as, until comparatively recent years, few coins were struck 
by the Government -for circulation in Canada. 

The main fact in our history, to be learned from the few legal coins issued, 
was the neglect of those in .authority to provide an adequate and stable cur- 
rency for the needs of the Country. 

T-his carelessness or impotency on the part of the Government greatly hin- 
dered the material advancement of the colony as well as retarded the growth of 
trade; consequently, to provide for their own pressing needs, many traders ille- 
gally issued unauthorized private tokens, which, proving profitable, brought 
about such a redundancy of change that it became discredited, to the ultimate 
financial loss of the people, as well as causing a want of confidence in their 
circulating medium. 

The earliest coinage especially struck for Canada, in Paris, in the year 1670, 
is known, from the first two words of. the motto inscribed thereon, as the 
G-loriam regni series. This motto, which differs from the Sit no*m,en of the regu- 
lar French coins, telling us, in words quoted from the llth verse of the 145th 
Psalm, that: "They shall speak of the glory of Thy Kingdom," is an indication 
of the greatness, now coming to be realized, anticipated by Louis XIV regarding 
his pet colonial project which he did so much, in his own egotistical way, to 

Before passin-g from the early days of the old regime it may be well to 

refer to the money of necessity issued by Intendant deMeules, in 1685, which, 
although not coin, has a historical interest all its own. It was paid out, in de- 
fault of any available -coined money, to the soldiers, sent out an the defense of 
the country, who were clamoring for their arrears. This, Doming in advance of 
any regular issue of paper money, proved to be not only the forerunner, ^ but 
the example on which was based the promissory currency of the American 
colonies, i as well as that of the Bank of England. It also tells us of the insuffi- 
ciency of the supply of paper in Canada suitable for a currency of the kind, as 
well as the absence of a printing press. These first notes were inscribed by 
hand on the backs of playing cards, from which this currency got the name of 
"Card Money." So conservative were those connected with the colonial treasury 
that each subsequent issue, for over thirty years, was written on playing cards, 
although ordinary cardboard could easily have been imported for the purpose, 
from France. On the reissue of card money, after it had been in abeyance for 
twelve years, while the shape and size were retained, the use of the playing 
card was abandoned. 

The ordinances of Bigot, the money of the boodlers of the last years of 
the old regime, by means of which the habitants were defrauded, deserves men- 
tion. They are simply promises, -signed by Bigot, that the king's treasury would 
be held repsonsible for the amount thereon inscribed. 

The first coin directly referring to this country, an English token, inscribed 
"Copper 'Company of Upper Canada,'* dated 1794, shows that at that early date 
the copper mines to the 'North of Lake Superior had been explored and had sent 
supplies of that metal to England. m 

A coin bearing the date 1811, known as the Vexator Canadensis, inspired 
an article on the administration of (Sir James Craig, by the late Dr. Kingsford. 
He in deciphering its obscure legend, found it to be satirical in character, and, 
taking the date to be the true one, believed the coin to have been issued by those 
French Canadians who were dissatisfied with the autocratic rule of that Gov- 
ernor. But when this coin is viewed from a numismatic standpoint, Dr. Kings- 
ford's interesting story is dissipated. It has been demonstrated that -the coin 
could not have been issued as early as its date would seem to imply, but, like 
most of the tokens struck at Montreal between the years 1832-1836, it was 
antedated, and refers to William IV as the oppressor of Canada. 

Between the years 1813 and 1817, -because of the dearth of copper change 
that at that time prevailed, there were issued by Montreal importers a series 
o-f tokens which, from their chief design, have become known as "Wellingtons. 
These while they give us some inkling into the condition of the currency of 
Canada at that time, also, by displaying the -bust of the hero of Waterloo and 
the figure of Britannia, tell us of an intensely pariotic sympathy of Canadians, 
French as well as English, with the mother -country in her titanic struggle with 
Napoleon; similar to the conditions of today in our herculean effort to over- 
come German military ascendency. From the fact that the first issue of the 
Wellingtons was struck over an English token, which was circulated in large 
quantities in 1811 by a Bristol nail manufacturer named Guppy, we are re- 
Sinded that Bristol at one time was the rival of Liverpool in an effort to con- 
trol the Canadian overseas trade, and that it was from that port that Cabot set 
out on his expedition as the discoverer of Canada. 

Issued at the -same time, there circulated among the Wellingtons a token 
.similar in appearance which is deserving of notice. While, like them, dis- 
pl^y S on one side the figure of Britannia, the other side shows the eagle of 
the United States silver coinage. As this coin cannot <be classed as patriotic 
especially coming *o closely after the war of 1812, are we to Conclude that it 
indicates evidence of a coquetting on the part of Canadians with the nation 
whose enroachments they had resisted for two years, almost single-handed? 
Say rather, that it was issued hy a merchant from Boston who, haying settled 
in Montreal at the close of the war, substituted the eagle of his native country 
frvi- th'at of the Wellington of patriotic money-grubbing Canadians. 

The Megdalen Inlands penny, dated 1815, records the most interesting fact 
that at the beginning of last century the inhabitants of these Islands did not 
own Sleg^nce to any of the other provinces. The islands had been granted by 
r eor^e III to Sir Isaac Coffin, who, before setting out for -his only visit to his 
S|lom,''> as he cabled it, ordered a large coinage of these pennies from Sir 
Edward Thomason of Birmingham. These he took with him and distributed 
Siem as loans to a number of his sbujects. Although he was apparently well 
received by them, or his loans appreciated, they, as he was alxmt leaving their 

refer to tlie money of necessity issued by Intendant deMeules, in 1685, which, 
although not -coin, has a historical interest all its own. It was paid out, in de- 
fault of any available .coined money, to the soldiers, sent out in the defense of 
the country, who were clamoring for their arrears. This, coming in advance of 
any regular issue of paper money, proved to be not only the -forerunner, but 
the example on which was based the promissory currency of the American 
colonies, as well as that of the Bank of England. It also tells us of the insum- 
ciency of the supply of paper in Canada suitable for a currency of the kind, as 
well as the 'absence of a printing press. These first notes were inscribed by 
hand on the backs of playing cards, from which this currency got the name of 
"Card Money." So conservative were those connected with the colonial treasury 
that each 'Subsequent issue, -for over thirty years, was written on playing cards, 
although ordinary cardboard could easily have been imported for the purpose, 
from Prance. On the reissue of card money, after it had been in abeyance for 
twelve years, while the shape and size were retained, the use of the playing 
card was abandoned. 

The ordinances of Bigot, the money of the boodlers of the last years of 
the old regime, 'by means of which the habitants were defrauded, deserves men- 
tion. They are simply promises, signed by Bigot, that the king's treasury would 
be held repsonsible for the amount thereon inscribed. 

The first coin directly referring to this country, an English token, inscribed 
"Copper -Company of Upper Canada/' dated 1794, shows that at that early date 
the copper mines to the 'North of Lake Superior had been explored and had sent 
supplies of that metal to England. 

A coin bearing the date 1811, known as the Vescator Ganadensis, inspired 
an article on the administration of iSir James Craig, by the late Dr. Kingsford. 
He, in deciphering its obscure legend, found it to be satirical in character, and, 
taking the date to be the true one, believed the coin to have been issued T>y those 
French Canadians who were dissatisfied with the autocratic rule of that Gov- 
ernor. But when this coin is viewed from a numismatic standpoint, Dr. Kings- 
lord's interesting story is dissipated. It has been demonstrated that the coin 
could not have been issued as early as its date would seem to imply, but, like 
most of the tokens struck at Montreal between the years 1832-1836, it was 
antedated, and refers to William IV as the oppressor of Canada. 

Between the years 1813 and 1817, .because of the dearth of copper change 
that at that time prevailed, there were issued by Montreal importers a series 
of tokens, which, from their chief design, have become known as "Wellingtons." 
These, while they give us some inkling into the condition of the currency of 
Canada at that time, also, 'by displaying the 'bust of the hero of Waterloo and 
the figure of Britannia, tell us of an intensely pariotic sympathy of Canadians, 
French as well as English, with the mother country in her titanic struggle with 
Napoleon; similar to the conditions of today in our herculean effort to over- 
come German military ascendency. Prom the fact that the first issue of the 
Wellingtons was struck over an English token, which was circulated in large 
quantities in 1811 by a Bristol nail manufacturer named Guppy, w are re- 
minded that Bristol at one time was the rival of Liverpool in an effort to con- 
trol the Canadian overseas trade, and that it was from that port that Cabot set 
out on his expedition as the discoverer of Canada. 

Issued at the -same time, there circulated among the Wellingtons a token 
similar in appearance which is deserving of notice. While, like them, dis- 
playing on one side the figure of Britannia, the other side shows the eagle of 
the United States silver coinage. As this coin cannot "be 'Classed as patriotic, 
especially coming so closely after the war of 1812, are we to conclude that it 
indicates evidence of a coquetting on the part of Canadians with the nation 
whose enroachments they had resisted for two years, almost single-handed? 
Nay, rather, that it was issued "by a merchant from Boston, who, haying settled 
in Montreal at the close of the war, substituted the eagle of his native country 
for that of the Wellington of patriotic money-grubhing Canadians. 

The Megdalen Islands penny, dated 1815, records the most interesting fact 
that at the beginning of last century the inhabitants of these Islands did not 
own allegiance to any of the other provinces. The islands had been 'granted, by 
George III, to Sir Isaac Coffin, who, before setting out for his only visit to his 
"Kingdom," as he called it, ordered a large coinage of these pennies from Sir 
Edward Thomason of Birmingham. These he took with him and distributed 
them as loans to a number of his sbujects. Although he was apparently well 
received by them, or his loans appreciated, they, as he was about leaving their 

scores, shouted after him "Fouettez King George and King Coffin." H-e never 
visited his "Kingdom" again. 

Coming to the Province of Nova Scotia, where a similar condition of the 
currency existed, we find more variety in the historical subjects displayed on the 
merchants' tokens issued at Halifax than on those at Montreal, evidencing much 
greater enterprise on their part. There was the same expression of intense 
patriotism on their tokens. While most of them "bear the bust of George III, 
some are inscribed "Genuine British Copper" or "Great Britain," and one, the 
"Broke" token, dated 1814, has a local patriotic reference, commemorating as 
it does the bringing into Halifax harbor of the American frigate "Chesapeake" 
:as a prize of war after its capture by the "Shannon," This was the first and 
most signal naval vistory of the war of 1812. The token displays the head of 
Captain Broke on the obverse, with a figure of Britannia, watching the naval 
engagement in the distance, on the reverse. 

Besides these, six Halifax merchants perpetuated their names on the tokens 
they issued. They are John Alexander Barry, a stormy petrel in those days of 
intense political strife in Nova Scotia. He was several times expelled from the 
Provincial Legislature and as many times re-elected; W. and A. S. Black, who 
were sons of an early Presbyterian minister; John Brown, who on his token dis- 
played the Scottish thistle and motto in such a manner that Lindsay classed it 
among his "Coins of Scotland;" Carritt and Alport, who display a war vessel, 
probably the Shannon, on their token; Hosterman and Etter, whose tokens give 
a view of the Provincial building, still standing; Starr and Shannon, with a 
representation of an Indian, with bow and arrow and dog; Miles W. White, an ex- 
tensive hardware merchant, and W. L. White, a dry goods merchant. 

These tokens, having been issued in excessive quantities, became so discredit- 
ed that in 1817 an act was passed prohibiting their further circulation, so, unlike 
the neglect of the -authorities of Lower Canada, the Provincial Secretary, in the 
year 1823, took the remedy into his own hands and issued the Thistle series. 
This reminds us of the Scottish name of the province and of the original grant 
to Sir William Alexander and his Barons of Nova Scotia. 

A curious mistake was made in one of the Thistle coinages, dated 1832, for 
it bears the bust of George IV, two years after the accession of William IV. 

In 1856 another coinage of the Thistle tokens was ordered; but before it 
could be executed Mr. John S. Thompson, a professor in the High School of 
Halifax, who had instituted a regular propaganda for the adoption of a special 
flag for Nova Scotia and the Mayflower (Epigea, r evens} as the Provincial em- 
blem, had so interested the Provincial Secretary that this emblem replaced the 
thistle on the reverse of the new coinage. 

Again, on the adoption of the decimal coinage, in 1861, the wreath on the 
reverse was, at the last moment, made to display the Mayflower entwining roses. 
Dies had been prepared for the coinage with the wreath composed of roses and 
rose leaves alone. 

Another fact revealed by the coinage of half-cent pieces, as well as of cents 
is that the standard of Nova Scotia was based on the rate of five dollars to the 
pound sterling, which, while it called for no silver coinage, the British shilling 
passing current for twenty-five cents, necessitated a half-cent piece to make 
change for the sixpence, which circulated at twelve and a half cents. 

In Upper Canada, where the brunt o-f the battle of the war of 1812 occurred, 
one or the events of that war was commemorated by the Brock tokens which in 
a long inscription covering the whole reverse, relates that this coin was struck 
in memory of "Sir Isaac Brook (sic) Bart, the hero of Upper Canada, who fell at 
the glorious battle of Queenston Heights on the 13th October, 1812 " Another 

The "Sloop" tokens remind us that in the second decade of the last century 
the commerce of the province was mainly carried on over the great lakes in 
sloop-rigged sailing vessels. 

fv Le ^! He - & ^ nS is the 2 nly VmeT Canada fi rm made historical through a 
token bearing its name. These coins, which are plentiful, show that the main 

S m n SS H e A i ^ e firm WaS located at "York," with branches at Kingston 
??& K a? ' fVf-J er and larser token ' lssued by the sam * fi rm in the year 
1832, anticipated the renaming of the capital of Ontario, "Toronto," by two 

dlrfs^ve term "mfddy5 ?re **** ^^^ aS "^^ Y rk '" * ten * ualmed & the 

Coming back to Lower Canada we find a flood of home-made coins issued 

between the years 1832 and 1836. Of these the chief varieties were: The 
"Tiffins," the "Harps" and the "Blacksmiths," all antedated. 

The "Tiffin" tokens, so designated because issued by Joseph Tiffin, an ex- 
tensive grocery merchant of Montreal, were put into circulation on account of 
the lack of copper change that at that time prevailed in Canada. This mer- 
chant took the remedy into his own hands and ordered a supply of halfpenny 
tokens from England; but instead of calling for a special design of Ms own, he 
had a copy, struck on a lighter flan, of an anonymous English trade token, dated 
1812, bearing on the obverse a bust of George III within a wreath of oak leaves, 
and on the reverse an allegorical figure of commerce seated. These tokens, 
which, although issued thirty years later, bore the date of the original, became 
so popular, that in a short time many imitations, or, rather, counterfeits in brass, 
more or less barbarous in execution, made their appearance and circulated freely 
among the genuine. 

The "Harps," on the other hand, while not attributed to any firm as issuers, 
are not slavish copies of any English prototype. The obverse was impressed 
with the bust of George IV and the reverse with a harp, which gave them their 
name, without other emblem or inscription than the date "1820." The first 
issued, a very rare copper coin struck in England, bore the date 1825, but the 
die was altered to 1820 by overcharging the "5" with "0," as examples occur 
with faint traces of the five under the zero. This alteration in the date clearly 
proves that antedating was done purposely to deceive the people and bears out 
the contention, previously stated, to the same effect regarding the "Vexators." 
The "Harps," like the "Tiffins," were so popular as currency that immense 
quantities of brass counterfeits were circulated, some of them of such inferior 
workmanship that the bust of George IV became a hideous caricature. So great 
was the quantity issued that old dies were refurbished and used to strike fresh 
coinages after they had been thrown aside as useless and allowed to rust. 

The "Blacksmiths," so called from their unfinished and often rough appear- 
ance, were imitations of halfpenny tokens of George II and George III, worn 
almost smooth, which at the time formed the only legal copper currency. They 
were impressed with a faint outline of the King's bust and a similar figure of 
Britannia or a harp for reverse, without any inscription. Many varieties were 
struck from dies more or less worn and rusted, some of them so much so as to 
be beyond all recognition; and in one case a worn and rusted die was employed, 
conjointly with the discarded die of a United States trade token, to strike an 
additional supply, producing a strange mule variety. 

These show that people accept almost anything as money so long as its 
currency remains unquestioned; and that, when these coins, which were a source 
of great profit to the issuers, were put into circulation in such vast quantities 
as to become a burden to traders and to form the only currency of the Province, 
they were suddenly rejected and, based on neither Government nor a private 
guarantee, turned out a complete loss to the holders. Strange as it may ap- 
pear, the lead in this movement against the autonomous tokens was taken by 
the market "hucksters," who, for the time being, became the self-constituted 
censors of the currency. To overcome the want of change caused by this de- 
monetizing of the private coppers, the Bank of Montreal issued a coinage of 
un sou pieces, in which the word "sous" was erroneously inscribed thereon with 
the plural inflection. These had no sooner become popular than an American 
exchange broker named Dexter Chapin, having his office on St. Paul street, 
Montreal, imported large quantltes of imitations of this sou piece, coined at 
Belleville, New Jersey, on which the word sou was correctly written. In a short 
time the quantity became so excessive that they, too, were rejected by the same 
censors, who, although illiterate, were able to distinguish by their error, the 
genuine from the false. The same broker issued a shinplaster or fractional note, 
which an error in the gender makes it read "une" instead of "un cTielHn" 

Several French Canadian writers on this subject claim these tokens as "Z/es 
Sous Des Patriotes" but without foundation, as may be perceived from the facts 
above stated, save that a sou was issued by La Banque du Peuple, bearing a 
wreath of five maple leaves, among which was surreptitiously inserted a star 
of hope and a Phrygian cap of liberty. From this the coin has ever since been 
named the "Rebellion Token." 

During this period four Montreal firms and a Quebec one -struck coins 
bearing their names. There was that of T. S. Brown and Co. Mr. Brown, who 
was a leader in the uprising of 1837, and a general at St. Charles, was given by 


his opponents the sobriquet of "Copper Tommy," which clung to him for many 
years afterwards. Another token, that of Thomas and William Molson brings 
us back to the days when the Molsons were Montreal's most enterprising citizens. 
One issued by R. W. Owen commemorates the founder of the first Canadian 
Rope Walk, which developed into the Canada Cordage Company. A fourth, that 
of Francis Mullins and Son, represents a firm that never existed. It was struck 
in anticipation that the son should be admitted into partnership, which, owing 
to some hitch, never came to pass. 

In 1837, through an ordinance passed by the special Council, the four banks 
doing business in Lrower Canada were authorized to issue regular bank tokens. 
As these bore the figure of a French Canadian farmer on the obverse, they are 
known as the "habitant" tokens. They came to be recognized and accepted as a 
regular provincial coinage. In 1838 the Bank of Montreal alone ordered a second 
coinage; but this was rejected, and therefore never put into circulation, as well 
as was a -coinage struck in 1839, because, as the manager claimed, of their lack 
of artistic merit. 

After the union of Upper and Lower Canada coinages were struck, under 
the permission of the Government, by the Bank of Montreal in 1842 and 1844, 
by the Quebec Bank in 1852, and by the Bank of Upper Canada in 1850, 1852, 
1854 and 1857. 

It may be well here to mention the coinage proposed for British Columbia 
during the gold fever of 1862. The province, then separate from Vancouver 
Island, was a crown colony, with the executive appointed by the Home Govern- 
ment. The Provincial Treasurer, Captain (afterwards General) Gossitt, who 
was a man of numismatic tastes, conceived the idea of establishing a mint, and 
coming the gold as it came from the mine, rather than have it exported in the 
crude state. He therefore ordered a complete outfit of coining machinery and 
had dies prepared for twenty and ten dollar pieces, by a die sinker named 
Kuner of San Francisco. This man had made the dies for many of the private 
gold coins that circulated in the Western territories of the United States from 
1849 to 1860. Now, just as he was ready to proceed, he received word from the 
Colonial office that, -as coining was a prerogative of the crown, he must stop all 
further proceedings. "But," as the Provincial Secretary wrote, in 1883, "Captain 
Gossitt, determined to have sample coins struck, brought the work to comple- 
tion," and further, "I well remember meeting him immediately after he had 
achieved his object. He had the coins in his hand, jingling and admiring them 
as a child would a new and very attractive toy." 

Five or six of each of these coins were struck, one set of which he kept for 
Ms own collection, one he presented to the British Museum, and the others to 
friends in British Columbia. 

The beaver skin currency for trading with the Indians was first introduced 
in 1820 by the North West Company. These were simply coin checks repre- 
senting the value of a beaver skin. Later a similar currency struck in brass 
was issued by the Hudson's Bay Company for 1, y 2 , 14 and % "made beaver " 
The term "made beaver" was the unit by which the value of furs was reckoned 
This currency, never popular among the Indians, who preferred to depend on 
their accounts as kept in the Company's books, rather than on these checks 
which were subject to be lost, was soon withdrawn. 

The story of the introduction of the decimal currency, which in Canada 
was gradual and marked by four stages, is in part told by the money of the 
period. The first stage was ushered in by the ordinance of 1774 proclaiming 
Halifax currency to be that of the Province of Quebec. This fixed the pound 
currency at $4.00 and the shilling at one-fifth of a dollar. All subsequent issues 
of Canadian bank bills were expressed in dollars rather than in pounds The 
n^Kit * Sta ?+' ndex \ th 1 Currency act of 1854, made it legal for banks and other 
public institutions to keep their accounts in dollars and cents as well as in 
pounds, shillings and pence. But this stage being permissive was not marked 
by a special coinage, so did not advance the change to any appreciable extent 

all ^vP^ r ^r aS a m S Cl1 la K S T Step ' f r by the act of 1858 n was ordered that 
Thi? 1? H f ? ' aS W +t aS ? a ^ accounts > ** kept in dollars and cents alone. 
This called for an authorized silver and copper coinage for the purpose of prop- 
erly carrying it out For the British shilling, while for convenience it circulated 
for one shilling and threepence, or twenty-five cents, was really only worth 
24 Va cents hence this need for Canadian silver. Like the MacLbSi shekel 
used only for the Temple contributions, it was solely employed as s a bankg 


currency, being considered too valuable for vulgar circulation. This gave occu- 
pation to a host of money changers that swarmed around the banking centres 
of the larger cities. 

The fourth and final stage was reached when the law made it obligatory 
for all the people to use the decimal currency. To facilitate the change in the 
manner of reckoning it was necessary to prohibit the circulation of the old 
private cappers that had crept back into general use, although they had once 
been discredited and rejected, and to call in the bank tokens. There was an- 
other difficulty, for through the depreciation of the paper currency of the United 
States, such vast quantities of the silver coins of that country were unloaded in 
Canada that it became a drug on the market, that while circulating freely in 
ordinary trade, it was subject to a discount of 5 or 6 per cent, in banking cur- 

The remedy -could only be readily effected by the government stepping in and 
assuming the loss involved in the withdrawing of both the coppers and the 
United States silver, and substituting therefor a Canadian silver coinage. 

This project was suggested by the late William Weir of Montreal, and adopt- 
^d and carried out by Sir Francis Hincks, the then Finance Minister, through 
Mr. Weir as his agent. This involved a large coinage of silver during the years 
1870 and 1871. But as the Royal Mint was not at that time aWe to keep pace 
with the Canadian orders, besides supplying the home demand, a fractional 25 
cents paper note was issued, and the Bank Tokens, instead of being withdrawn, 
were raised in value to five halfpenny pieces in place of six for five cents as 

I well remember furnishing Mr. Weir with specimens of the different Bank 
tokens, to be illustrated in the circular he issued on behalf of the Government, 
raising their value, while calling in the old coppers for redemption. 

Thus did Sir Francis Hincks effect, in the short space of a year, by one 
stroke of statesmanship, the change in the currency system that had been drag- 
ging along for years. The tables of the money changers were thus overthrown, 
and for the last forty years the people have had but one staple currency, equally 
acceptable by the banks and for general circulation, instead of two as formerly. 


The Dominion of Canada issued portrait $5 and $10 gold pieces only in 
three years, 1912, 1913 and 1914. The coins are all of the same type and 
design, varying only in the denomination and the date. 

The obverse of all the series shows the crowned bust left of King George 
V, designed by Sir E. Bertram Mackennal, a British sculptor of Australian 
birth, whose initials appear upon the truncation of the bust, B.M. The in- 
scription on the coins reads: GEORGIUS V DEI GRA. REX ET IND. IMP. 

The reverse has the word CANADA at the top, and the value below, TEN 
(or FIVE) DOLLARS, with the date directly above. In the center, as the 
main design on the reverse, is a large shield resting on crossed branches 
of maple. The shield has four quarterings, representing Ontario (St. George 
cross, and three maple leaves), Quebec (two lilies, a lion and three maple 
leaves), Nova Scotia (a salmon and three thistles in two rows) and New- 
Brunswick (a lion, and a galley). 

The other provinces of Canada are not represented on this shield, having 
joined the Dominion at a later date. The provinces not included, each of 
which, however, has its own distinctive arms, are British Columbia, Alberta, 
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island. 

The Canadian $5 and $10 pieces are of the exact weight and fineness of 
the United States pieces of equal denomination. The Canadian pieces were 
struck at the Royal Mint, Ottawa. Prior to the coinage of pieces on the 
dollar standard, Canada had struck sovereigns, with the bust of King Edward 
VII and King George V, which bore upon the reverse the distinguishing 
mint letter C, but which were otherwise similar in type to the British issues. 



Fred Bowman 

After the British occupation, the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada 
(now Ontario and Quebec) were politically separate, with the currency 
in both colonies nominally that of England, although in Lower Canada 
many French coins continued to circulate. Owing to the extreme scar- 
city of English coins, trade was carried on largely by means of the gold 
and silver coins of the United States, France, Portugal, Spain, and 
Mexico at rates of exchange fixed by Parliament. In 1841 the two colo- 
nies united as The Province of Canada. Copper coins were nominally 
the English pence and half pence but owing to their scarcity, a large 
number of privately issued tokens of many types circulated throughout 
the colony. 

In 1851 an act was passed (14 & 15 Viet. Chap. 47) requiring, as soon 
as conveniently practicable, public accounts to be kept in dollars, cents, 
and mills and authorizing coins representing the dollar or its multiples 
or divisions to be struck and be legal tender. In 1857 an act was passed 
(20 Viet. Chap. 18) requiring all government accounts to be kept in 
dollars and cents. Steps were immediately taken to provide a silver 
and copper currency of twenty, ten, five and one cent denominations, 
which were put into circulation the following year. 

Nova Scotia or Acadia, as it was originally called, was first settled 
by French colonists. It was alternately French and British at intervals 
until 1713 when it was finally ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of 
Utrecht. The currency was that of England, but, like the other provinces, 
the scarcity of coins led to the use of the currency of other countries, 
especially the Spanish milled dollar or piece of eight reales. In 1859 
an act was passed (22 Viet. Chap. 24) requiring public accounts to be 
kept in dollars and cents with an optional second column for pounds, 
shillings and pence. In 1860 an act was passed (23 Viet. Chap. 3) 
setting the rates of exchange in dollars and cents for foreign coins legal 
tender in the colony. 

New Brunswick, ceded to Great Britain in 1763, formed part of the 
Colony of Nova Scotia until 1785 when it was established as a separate 
colony. In 1852 an act was passed (15 Viet. Chap. 85) permitting ac- 
counts to be in dollars and cents although the unit of account was fixed 
as the pound currency. In 1860 an act was passed (23 Viet. Chap. 48) 
requiring accounts to be kept in dollars and cents, but permitting a 
second column for sterling values. This act authorized the issue of 
silver and copper coins. 

Prince Edward Island, after its capture in 1758, formed part of Nova 
Scotia until 1770, when it was constituted a separate colony. In 1871 
an act was passed (34 Viet. Chap. 5) assimilating the currency of the 
Island to that of the Dominion of Canada. 

In 1867, by the British North America Act, the Provinces of Canada, 
New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia combined to form the Dominion of 
Canada. Prince Edward Island entered the Confederation in 1873. 
As soon as a sufficient quantity of the new coinage was in general 



This has long been in such an 

unsatisfactory condition that a general desire for the sub- 
stitution oi cents for coppers was felt, and the Finance 
Minister, to meet this public requirement, has, by circu- 
lar, authorized all Government Departments and Officers 
to receive the leg-ally authorized coppers, sous and half- 
pence as cents, and pence as two cents, and has requested 
all bankers, merchants and others to do the same. All 
other coppers are illegal, 

The following are fac-similes of the most 

widely-circulated coppers which are now to pass for cents ; 
and all are requested to aid a reform so advantageous to 
the country as the substitution of the decimal currency 
throughout : 


\ d!j**j\ /(***^\ /f*<o\ y ? "\ 


The above cuts show the Bank tokens 

which will be current as cents after the first day of October, 
187O. To these are to be added a few old Sous* of the Bank 
of Montreal and La Banque du Peuple. Canadian and New 
Brunswick cents, and British half-pennies will continue 
current as cents, that being their legal value. 

Montreal, October 1st, 1870. WITNKS* I-HIST. MONTKEAL." 

circulation, a letter was addressed to the banks and boards of trade, 
as well as a notice posted in public buildings, authorizing the old legally 
struck coppers, sous and half pence to be accepted as cents and the 
pence as two cents. In 1876 the old copper coins still in circulation 
were withdrawn and destroyed. 

Newfoundland, the oldest British colony in the "Western Hemisphere, 
was discovered by John Cabot in 1497 and has ever since been claimed 
by Great Britain, although at different times this was contested by 


The above cuts show the Bank tokens which trill be current as cents-alter the firat day of October, 1870. 
To these are to be added a few old Sous of La Banque du Peupte. Canadian find New Brunswick cents, and 
British half-pennies will continue current as cents, thtvt being their legal value. 

i* t7ie circular oftJie Hon. the Finance Minister . 

OTTAWA, 9th September, 1870. 


The Government has had under its consideration for some time back, the great incon- 
venience folt by the public owing to the state of the Copper Currency. While the Public Accounts 
are kept in dollars and cents, and all duties of Customs, Excise and Stamps are collected in that cur- 
rency, a great portion of the Copper Coins in circulation are Bank Tokens, issued under the authority 
of law, but not a legal tender, and passing generally current-as pennies and half-pennies of the old 
currency. It was deemed expedient to delay taking action regarding the Copper Currency until after 
the receipt of a sufficient quantity of the new Canadian silver coins of 10 and 5 cents. That supply 
having been obtained, it has been decided by the Government, pending the action of Parliament, to 
authorize the various Beceivers of the Public Revenues to take the Copper Tokens of the various 
Chartered Banks issued under the authority of law, at one and two cents respectively, in sums not 
exceeding 25 cents ; and I have to express the hope that the Chartered Banks, and several Boards of 
Trade, and the Mercantile Community generally will co-operate with the Government in their endeavor 
to secure a uniform Copper Currency. I may observe that other copper coins are in general currency^ 
the circulation of which is forbidden by law under penalties. With these coins it is impossible to 
deal without the authority of Parliament, and it is not probable that even if they should be called in 
at the public expense, they would be paid for at more than J or J cent each. The Government can- 
not authorize the reception of these coins at any rate, and the propriety of issuing a proclamation, 
warning^ the public of their illegality, has been under consideration. It has, however, been deemed 
expedient to await the action of Parliament on the subject, and I venture to suggest, either that these 
base coins should be refused altogether, or received only at fractional parts of a cent. I avail myself 
of this opportunity to request the co-operation of the banks and the public in withdrawing from circu- 
lation the 20 cent silver coins, all of which the Government are prepared to redeem, it having been 
ascertained that the 25 cent coin is more convenient for the public. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most Obdt. Servt., 


Minister of Finance 

France, without success. By 1860 the Spanish dollar had ceased to cir- 
culate, the currency consisting of English and American gold and silver 
coins and local copper tokens. In 1863 the Colonial Act of Great Britain 
(26 Viet. Chap. 18) afterwards embodied in the Consolidated Statutes 
of Newfoundland 1872 (Chap. 92) authorized the striking of gold, silver 
and copper coins representing dollars and cents. 


The figures shown in the accompanying tables have been taken, as far 
as possible, from the annual reports of the Royal Mint from 1870 to 
date and of the Royal Canadian Mint from the first issue in 1935 to date. 

The information given in the various mint reports must be considered 
the only official and reliable data on the subject, but the writer has 
found that in a number of cases the figures given in the mint reports 
do not correspond with similar data shown in subsequent reports. In 
all cases of uncertainty the conflicting data has been noted and the 
reason for adopting the particular figures explained. 

The figures given in the annual reports of the Royal Mint from 1870 
to 1907 show the number of good coins struck. After the opening of 
the Canadian branch of the Royal Mint at Ottawa in 1908, the reports 
of the Royal Mint show the number of pieces struck as well as the per- 
centage of good coins of the total number executed. This seemed to 
indicate that this percentage of the total number should represent the 
correct number of good coins. On consulting an officer of the Royal 
Canadian Mint, however, the writer was assured that the number " of 
coins shown in the report as being struck had already been diminished 
by the rejects and that the percentage shown was of interest only to the 
mint officials as a measure of the efficiency ' of their operations. An ex- 
ception to the above was the year 1927 when the report shows the actual 
number of good coins struck. The procedure of reporting was varied, 
apparently, for this particular year. 

The numbers shown in the tables are not necessarily the numbers is- 
sued during the various years as in many cases coins are carried over 
and issued during the following year or even later. 

Worn and mutilated coins are periodically returned to the mint to be 
remelted and the metal used for subsequent strikings. We think it is 
safe to assume, however, that the number of coins which are worn to 
such a condition as to cause them to be returned to the mint for remelt- 
ing is in sufficiently close proportion to the number of pieces put into 
circulation that the figures shown in the tables are a fair measure of the 
comparative rarity of the different issues. 

This does not apply to the New Brunswick half cent piece of 1861, the 
Canada five cent piece of 1921 nor the Canada fifty cent piece of 1921, the 
reasons for which are explained on a later page. 


The mint report for 1891 shows 10,000,000 one cent pieces for 1858. 
No reference was made to the one cent pieces of 1859 but these are much 
more in evidence than those dated 1858. Mr, McLachlan had some cor- 
respondence with the Royal Mint on the subject, as a result of which 
he assigned one million to 1858 and nine million to 1859. An article 
in the Antiquarian of 1882-3 explains this discrepancy as well as the 
large number of 1859 cents over-struck on those of 1858, as follows: 
"The order was received from the Canadian Government late in the 
year 1858 and it was in November, or even as late as December, before 
the work of striking the cents was begun. The order, which seems very 
large for the population of less than a million and a half, then living 
in Old Canada, was for 10,000,000 and could not therefore be completed 


in so short a time. It, in fact the bulk of it, had to be completed in 
1859, and as it is customary in the Koyal Mint to call in from the coming 
room 011 the 31st of December, all dies issued during the year, the dies 
for the Canadian coinage were returned with the others. To prevent 
delay in the work of coining, new dies with the new year's date are 
always ready for placing in the presses on the 2nd of January, but by 
some neglect new dies for the cents had not been prepared. The old 
dies used in 1858 were therefore hastily altered that there might be 110 
delay, and made to do duty until the new 1859 dies could be got ready." 

The Royal Mint Report of 1911, page 170, states that 9,579,000 one 
cent pieces were coined for 1859 and accepting the total figure of 
10,000,000 as correct, we get 421,000 coined for 1858. 

The design of the obverse of the bronze one cent piece was originally 
executed for an English coinage but was rejected owing to the existence 
of the inner beaded circle. The complete obverse of the coin was copied 
from the bronze coinage of the Emperor Napoleon III of France. 


The obverse of the cent and half cent coins are similar to the English 
halfpenny and farthing of 1860 to 1895, while the reverse contains a 
wreath of Mayflowers and roses intertwined. The roses of course indi- 
cate the attachment to the mother country while the Mayflower, first 
used in a cluster on the pence and halfpence of 1856, were emblematic 
of Nova Scotia. The incidents leading to the adoption of the Mayflower 
as a provincial emblem, instead of the thistle which had heretofore been 
used, are interesting. An energetic society, with branches throughout 
the colony, had for some years been attempting to spread a purer spirit 
of patriotism among the people. At a meeting in Halifax in 1855 a 
provincial flag and other emblems, calculated to instil a greater love of 
country, were either suggested or adopted. Paramount among the em- 
blems was the Mayflower (epigea repens, known also as the trailing 
arbutus or ground laurel), so abundant in the forests of Nova Scotia. 
It was made the theme of the orator, talked about in the streets, illus- 
trated and paragraphed in the newspapers, and, to the exclusion of all 
other flowers, worn in buttonholes, until it became known and loved in 
every town and hamlet throughout the colony. The moving spirit in 
this patriotic propaganda was John. S. Thompson, father of Sir John 
Thompson. (MeLachlan) 


The coinage consisted of twenty, ten, five and one cent pieces. No 
half cent coins were ordered but through an oversight at the mint, dies 
for this denomination were prepared and coins struck. A number of 
them, possibly several hundred at most, arrived at Halifax with the 
half cent issue for Nova Scotia which they resemble. Information re- 
garding the number of these half cents struck by the mint has been lack- 
ing owing to an error in a table of issues first appearing in the "Royal 
Mint report of 1911. In this publication, appendix G- page 170 shows 
that from records recently discovered, half cent pieces were struck for 
Canada in 1860 to the value of $1,114. This item appears in subsequent 
mint reports up to and including the issue of 1936 and has puzzled 


numismatists for many years, as no half cent coins for Canada are 
known. The same table, appearing in the report of the Royal Canadian 
Mint for 1937, however, has been altered and now shows this item as 
applying to New Brunswick, On making inquiries at the Royal Cana- 
dian Mint regarding this change, the writer was advised by 'an officer 
of the mint that a communication received from the Royal Mint in 1936 
stated that these coins were struck for New Brunswick and not for 
Canada. We have therefore taken the figure of 222,800 as the number 
struck, none of which, however, was officially put into circulation. 


The obverse of the one cent piece is similar to the Jamaican nickel 
halfpenny first coined in 1870, while the reverse depicts a large oak tree 
typifying the mother country, sheltering the three counties of the Island, 
Kings, Queens and Prince, designated by three oak saplings. (Canada 


The Royal Mint report of 1871 page 10, states that, in addition to the 
pieces struck at the London Mint, silver coins to the value of 81,500 
were struck at the Heaton Mint. McLachlan shows 45.000 fifty cent 
pieces from this mint. We have no knowledge of the source of his in- 
formation but as we could find no conflicting data, accept his figure as 
correct. The fifty, twenty-five and ten cent pieces are fairly common 
but the writer has been able to find no positive indication as to the 
existence of the five cent pieces, although Sandham, in the supplement 
to his work, as well as the Coin Collectors Journal of 1888, indicate 
this piece having been issued, but neither of these writings are very 
definite on the matter. None of the' major collections of Canadian coins 
in Eastern Canada include the coin. McLachlan in 1866 definitely states 
that none was issued. We have enquired of the British Museum whether 
or not they have it but as their coins are still in wartime storage and 
will probably not be available for a considerable time, we must assume 
for the present that none was struck. Subtracting the 45,000 fifty cent 
pieces, as shown by McLachlan, from the 81,500, we have divided the 
balance equally as to value between the twenty-five and ten cent pieces. 
This procedure is, however, merely a supposition and should be so un- 


The Royal Mint report of 1872 page 10 shows coinage from the Heaton 
Mint to the value cf 270,833. The lists in the Royal Mint reports of 
1891 and 1908 show the following numbers from the Heaton Mint : fifty 
cents 80,000 ; twenty five cents 2,240,000 ; ten cents 1,000,000 ,- five cents 
2,000,000. The nominal value of these pieces at $4.86 2/3 is approxi- 
mately 164,383. We have used the figures given in the reports of 1891 
and 1908 in preference to the nominal value of 270,833 as shown in 
the mint report of 1872 as we consider it is possible that the order was 
changed before being fully completed. 



The Royal Mint report of 1874 page 9 shows coinage from the Heaton 
Mint of twenty-five, ten and five cent pieces to the value of 104,167. 
The lists in the Royal Mint report of 1891 and 1908 show the following 
numbers from the Heaton Mint : twenty-five cents 1,600,000 ; ten cents 
600,000; five cents 800,000. The value of these pieces at $4.86 2/3 is 
approximately 102,739. We have used the figures given in the reports 
of 1891 and 1908 in preference to the nominal value of 104,167 as 
shown in the mint report of 1874. 


The Royal Mint report of 1875 page 9 shows coinage from the Heaton 
Mint of twenty-five, ten and five cent pieces to the value of 83,333, The 
lists in the Royal Mint report of 1891 and 1908 show the following num- 
bers from the Heaton Mint : twenty -five cents 1,000,000 ; ten cents 
1,000,000; five cents 1,000,000. The nominal value of these is approx- 
imately 82,191. We have used the figures given in the reports of 1891 
and 1908 in preference to the nominal value of 83.333, as shown in the 
mint report of 1875. 


The Royal Mint report of 1882 page 10 shows silver coinage of twenty 
(this is an error, should read twenty-five), ten and five cent pieces to 
the value of $350,000. The lists in the Royal Mint reports of 1891 and 
1908 show the following numbers from the Heaton Mint: twenty-five 
cents 600,000; ten cents 1,000,000; five cents 1,000,000. The nominal 
value of these pieces is $300,000, We have used the figures given in the 
reports of 1891 and 1908 in preference to the nominal value of $350,000 
as shown in the mint report of 1882. 


An irregularity appeared 011 the silver five cent piece of this year, 
the first of the reign of King Edward VII. New dies for the reverse, as 
well as the obverse, were required showing the Imperial crown in place 
of the Royal crown. The engravers at the mint found it impossible to 
complete new dies for all coins in the time available and the five cent 
piece was the sufferer. This coin was executed using the reverse die 
bearing the Royal crown as in the case of the coins of Victoria. This 
was corrected on the coins of the following year. 


1,000 milled edge specimen sets of the fifty, twenty-five, ten, five and 
one cent denominations in dull proof were struck, in addition to the 
regular coinage, and sold in cases. 


1,000 milled edge specimen sets of the fifty, twenty-five, ten, five and 
one cent denominations in dull proof were struck, in addition to the 
regular coinage, and sold in cases. 

The coins of this year are unique as regards the Canadian decimal 
coinage in that the words DEI GRATIA or their abbreviation were omit- 
ted. These are sometimes known as the ll Graceless Coins.' 7 If this 


was an oversight, the error lies in the Government proclamations dated 
June 30th, July 25th, July 29th and November 15th, 1911, and not with 
the mint officials. A Government Proclamation dated December 29th, 
1911, replaced this title on all coins. 


The gold coins which first appeared during this year show the Arms 
of Canada on a square shield. The Arms used here were the combined 
Arms of the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Bruns- 
wick. Although this design was considered at the time to be the 
Armorial Bearings of the Dominion of Canada, it was not specifically 
authorized as such by Royal Warrant. The official descriptions of the 
provincial arms as they appear on the coin are as follows : 

Ontario "Vert a Sprig of three Leaves of Maple slipped, or 011 a 
chief Argent the Cross of St. George." 

Quebec "Or on a Fess Gules between two Fleur de Lis in chief 
Azure, and a sprig of three Leaves of Maple slipped vert in base, a 
lion passant guardant or/' 

Nova Scotia "Or on a Fess Wavy Azure between three Thistles 
proper, a Salmon Naiant Argent." 

New Brunswick "Or on Waves a Lymphad, or ancient Galley, with 
Oars in action proper, on a chief gules a Lion passant Guardant Or." 


The existence of the five cent silver piece dated 1921 has been to a 
certain extent controversial. A large number of these silver pieces had 
been struck when an Act was passed on May 3rd 1921 authorizing the 
new nickel coin of this denomination. The silver pieces were then re- 
melted and used in other denominations, but in some unexplained man- 
ner a small number of these coins found their way out of the mint and 
into collectors y cabinets. Some were discovered in circulation and 
others purchased from dealers. Possibly about thirty exist in the hands 
of collectors. 

The rarity of the fifty cent pieces of this date also requires explanation. 
The mint report shows 206,398 of these coins were executed but it was 
found that the demand for them was very small. They were carried over 
and issued in subsequent years as necessitated by the demand, until 1928 
when the balance remaining on hand were melted and re-coined in the 
new strikings of 1929. Only twenty-four thousand, presumably all of 
the 1921 date, were issued for circulation during these years. This 
figure is largely borne out by the difficulty of finding the coins in 


The silver dollar, first struck during this year, commemorated the 
twenty-fifth year of the reign of King George V. 


1,295 milled edge specimen sets of the dollar, fifty, twenty-five, ten, 
five and one cent denominations in dull proof were struck in addition 
to the regular coinage and sold in cases. 


No coins were struck for King Edward VIII. Dies, however, were 
prepared but the king abdicated before any coins were struck and the 
dies were pressed oval so they could not be used. Curiously, the bust 
on these dies faced left, the same as his father, King George^ V. The 
tradition that the portrait of the reigning monarch on British and 
Colonial coins should face in the opposite direction to the previous- 
sovereign is attributed to King Charles II who refused to face in the 
same direction as Cromwell. This tradition has been strictly adhered 
to in modern times with the exception of the unstruck coins of King 
Edward VIII who insisted that his portrait on coins should be shown 
facing in the same direction as that of his father. His preference was 
said to be due to the fact that he parted his hair on the left side and 
consequently the left profile presented a more characteristic portrait. 
American reports state that when the late Sir Robert Johnson, Deputy 
Master of the Royal Mint, informed King Edward that in using the 
left profile he would break a long established tradition that portraits 
on coins should face in the opposite direction to that of the previous 
monarch, His Majesty replied, "Why shouldn't 1?" The portrait on 
the coins of King George VI faces left, and assuming the portrait on the 
unstruck coins of King Edward VIII to face right, the tradition is con- 
tinued. (The Numismatic History of New Zealand by Allen Sutherland) . 

Complete new designs were prepared for the coins of King George 
VI. The old maple wreath designed by L. C. Wyoii for the reverse of 
the coins of Queen Victoria and in use for eighty years, was discarded 
and replaced by designs differing for each coin, such as the maple sprig, 
beaver, fishing schooner, Arms of Canada, caribou and canoe. 

The reverse of the fifty cent piece shows, between supporters, the 
Ensigns Armorial of Canada in a shield surmounted by the Imperial 
crown. The quarterings on the shield are officially described as fol- 
lows : 

"Tierced in fesse the first and second divisions containing the quarter- 
ly coat following, namely, 1st, Gules three lions passant guardant in 
pale or, 2nd, Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter- 
flory gules, 3rd, Azure a harp or stringed argent, 4th, Azxire three 
Fleurs-de-lis or, and the third division Argent three maple leaves con- 
joined on one stem proper. And for slip porters, on the dexter a lion 
rampant or holding a lance argent, point or, flying therefrom to the 
dexter the Union flag, and on the sinister a unicorn argent armed crined 
and unguled or, gorged with a coronet composed of crosscs-patee and 
fleurs-de-lis, a chain affixed thereto reflexted of the last, and holding a 
like lance flying therefrom to the sinister a banner azure charged with 
three fleurs-de-lis or ; the whole ensigned with the Imperial Crown prop- 
er. " (Canada Gazette) 


The scarcity of nickel, due to war requirements, necessitated a change 
in the five cent piece and an alloy of 88% copper and 12% zinc was 
decided upon. In order to more readily distinguish it from the bronze 
one cent piece, which this new alloy closely resembled in colour, it was 
made twelve sided. The alloy is called " Tombac " from Malay "Tom- 
baga, " a popular alloy for jewelry in the East Indies. The Mint regards 
the composition as sound economy, for "the metallic content is such 


that if and when the need arises for redemption of these coins, when 
nickel again takes its place in coinage, they can be converted into bronze 
coins by the addition of tin and copper in their proper proportions." 
[Royal Canadian Mint Report.] 


A new design for the tombac five cent piece was executed depicting 
on the reverse the letter V and a torch conjoined, emblematic of victory 
and sacrifice. The motto around the border "We win when we work 
willingly' 7 in Morse Code is unique and was an added incentive to the 
war effort. 

A further change to the five cent piece was made. It was found that 
the tombac alloy was very unpopular because of the difficulty of dis- 
tinguishing it from the one cent piece. The coin is of steel with a 
chromium finish, otherwise it resembles the tombac coin of 1943. 


The pitcher plant or "sarracenia purpurea" depicted on the bronze 
coins of Newfoundland is indigenous to the Island and is one of the 
carnivores of the vegetable kingdom. The green leaves are pitcher-like 
receptacles, the inner surfaces being coverd with downward sloping 
bristles which prevent the escape of any insect which may have entered 
to feed on the sweet sticky syrup at the bottom of the pitcher. The 
digestable portions of the insect are then absorbed by the plant. 


BRITT: REX or BRITT : REG:, an abbreviation of "Britanniarum 
Rex" or ' l Brittaiiiarum Regina" meaning "King (or Queen) of the 
British Isles." 

D :G:, an abbreviation of "Dei Gratia 7 ' meaning "By the Grace of God." 

F:D:, an abbreviation of "Fidei Defensor" meaning "Defender of the 

Faith." This title was conferred by Pope Leo X on King Henry VIII 

in acknowledgment of his defence of the Roman Catholic faith against 

Martin Luther in 1521. (Enc. Brit.) On breaking with the Roman 

Church, the title was confirmed by parliament and has been used by 

subsequent moiiarchs on the British throne. (Enc. Brit.) It was first 

used on coins during the reign of King George I. 

REX IMPERATOR meaning "King Emperor." 

REX ET IND: IMP:, an abbreviation of "Rex et Indise Imperator" 

meaning "King and Emperor of India." 
ANNO REGNI XXV meaning "Regnal year 25." 
PARVA SUB INGENTI meaning "Small things under great." 
FIDE SUORUM REGNAT meaning "He reigns on the loyalty of His 
People." (Royal Canadian Mint report) 
(Royal Canadian Mint report) 





Parts per 1000 

Province of Canada 

Twenty cents 





Ten cents 





Five cents 





One cent 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

Nova Scotia 

One cent 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

Half cent 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

New Brunswick 

Twenty cents 





Ten cents 





Five cents 





One cent 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

Half cent 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

Prince Edward Island 

One cent 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

Dominion of Canada 

Ten dollars 





Five dollars 





One dollar 





Fifty cents 




825 to 1919 800 after 1919 

Twenty-five cents 




825 to 1919 800 after 1919 

Ten cents 




825 to 1919 800 after 1919 

Five cents 




825 to 1919 800 after 1919 

Five cents 





Five cents 




Copper 880 Zinc 120 

Five cents 




Steel, Chromium plated 

One cent (1876 to 




Copper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 


One cent (1920 to 




Copper 955 Tin 30 Zinc 15 


to 1941 after which the tin 

content was reduced to 5. 


Two dollars 





Fifty cents 




Twenty-five cents 
twenty cents 
Ten cents 





925 1865 to 1943 
800 1944 to date 

Five cents 




One cent 1865 to 




jpper 950 Tin 40 Zinc 10 

One cent 1940 to 




No information but probably 


the same as for Canada dur- 

ing the same period 

Sizes shown in decimals are from mint reports or other official documents. 
Those in fractions are from measurements of the coins. 

Note: The -writer wishes to acknowledge the expert and valuable assistance 
received from JL. A. Renaud, Curator of the Chateau de Ramezay, in the compiling 
of these lists. 




MEXICO 1526-1821 

Ray H. Wilson 

The coinage of our neighbor to the south, The United States of 
Mexico, offers to the numismatist a marvelous and exciting field to 
explore. It is replete with surprises and fascinating bypaths. 

There are a number of reasons why we in the United States should 
be interested in this series. The next few paragraphs will outline a 
few of these reasons. 

Mexican coinage was legal tender in this country until February 
27, 1857, less than 100 years ago. Up to June 30, 1862, over two mil- 
lion dollars in Mexican coinage had been turned in for redemption. 

From the earliest times, the coinage of the various colonies had 
been principally foreign, the commonest being the Mexican. 

The "milled Spanish dollar'* or "piece of eight" and its subdivisions 
were the models from which we designed our system of currency. We 
adopted the decimal system which was an innovation, but our coins 
copied the Mexican coins closely in size and weight. 

These reasons apply to us in the United States more particularly, 
but there are other interesting points to consider also, of a more general 
nature. The world- wide circulation of this coinage is unique and un- 
equalled. In connection with this, the cut pieces, counterstamped and 
overstruck coins are a rare and interesting pursuit. A number of other 
points also, will be taken up in due course. 

The discovery of the New World placed Spain in a dominant and 
pre-eminent position. She quickly shut out other countries from North 
and South America. However, there was a mad scramble by the other 
European powers for what was left. The remaining small islands in 
the West Indies were quickly occupied by these nations. Being shut 
off from trade with the Americas, they developed trade with the Orient 
which flourished greatly. 

Having expanded trade so rapidly, these countries were forced 
to use what currency was at hand, namely the vast coinage of gold and 
silver, flowing from the rich mines of Mexico. This money was readily 
recognized and accepted in all parts of the world and circulated on 
every continent. 

The following example shows an interesting case in point. In the 
year 1813, Governor Macquarie of New South Wales (Australia) obtained 
10,000 worth of Mexican eight real pieces, from the centers of which 
he had circular discs cut. Around the edges of the perforation, which 
was milled, the words "New South Wales, 1813" were stamped. On the 
reverse was "five shillings 1813." The center piece was called a "dump" 
and was countermarked with a crown and "fifteen pence," its value. 
The large perforated coin is commonly known as a "Holey Dollar." 

Many other countries perforated and otherwise cut up coins for 
their own use. Mutilating the coins prevented them from draining off 
so quickly in trade. They were also cut up in quarters, fifths, etc. for 


small change. In many cases, these coins were counterstamped by 
the seal of the country using them. A number of countries struck over 
these coins with their own dies. Traces of the eight real design can be 
seen on Brazilian, English trade dollars, and half pagodas coined in 
Madras India, by the East India Company. 

Even collecting this type of coinage is very interesting. There are 
many counterstamps which have not yet been attributed, which offers 
a fascinating field of study and research. 

The mint in Mexico City began operation in 1536 and of course had 
the honor of minting the first coins struck in continental America. We, 
in the United States, began our mint in 1793, over 250 years later. 
From 1536 and up to 1821, the year of independence, the Mexico City 
mint had coined over two billion dollars worth of gold, silver and copper 
coins, consisting of one hundred and six different types and values, not 
including die varieties. This is a remarkable amount of money even in 
these days of inflated money. During this period the coins ranged from 
the crude hand struck, undated pieces to the modern round, milled coin- 
age as we know it. 

Spanish coinage consisted of copper, silver and gold coins. One real 
(12% cents) was worth thirty-four maravedies which were coined in 
copper of various fractions of a real. The silver coins (reales) were 
coined in quarters, halves, one, two, four and eight real pieces. Gold 
was minted in one, two, four and eight escudo pieces. One escudo was 
worth sixteen reales. 

Most of the Mexican coins previous to 1732 were undated and as 
they were crudely and poorly struck, identification becomes an impor- 
tant consideration. The following details must receive careful study in 
attributing these coins correctly: 


1. The mint mark M or Mo. 

2. The name of the king* on the margin. 

3. The date, if any. 

4. The coat of arms, may in some cases identify the period. 

5. The assayer's initial is generally of great value, although it may 
carry through to another reign. 

6. The general type, shape and design. 

Among the earlier coins, it is seldom one finds a coin with all these 
identification points complete. Generally only a few are present. 

The assayer's initial mentioned above is a most important point. 
According to Spanish law, each mint had two assayers, who were re- 
sponsible for the purity and fineness of the metal in the coinage. Up to 
1732, only one assayer's initial is found on the coins, but after 1732, 
two initials are used, each one representing one assayer. These assayers 
were generally changed when a new sovereign commenced his reign. 
Most reigns have several different assayers' initials and in some cases 
it was as high as eight. 

To make this text more complete it might be well to mention the 
media of exchange of the Indian tribes. They didn't have money as 
we know it but used a barter system. The cacao bean was widely used 
as also were cotton fabrics, stone beads, quills filled with gold, hoe money 
or "tajaderas" and local products. 

When the mint in Mexico City began operation in 1536, the reign- 


ing sovereigns of Spain were Carlos and Johanna, 1536-1556. Carlos was 
the son of Johanna, who was mentally incompetent and ruled as Charles 
I of Spain and Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. 

The mint issued one quarter, one half, one, two and four real pieces. 

The design on the reverse of these coins is interesting. Charles I 
adopted the columns and motto about the year 1519 in Flanders, and 
some coins struck there have this design, the motto reading "Plus 
Oultre." It would be immaterial to give here the mythological origin 
of the supposed pillars Calpe and Abyla, set by Hercules at the Straits of 
Gibraltar, with their motto "Non" or "Nee plus ultra." Charles, alluding 
to his New World possessions, drops the limiting term. 

A number of these real pieces were struck but none was ever issued 
for circulation. Only three specimens are now known. Of the one 
quarter reales only one coin is now extant. These small pieces were 
very unpopular with the Indians owing to their small size. They melted 
them down for other purposes. This coinage was soon discontinued and 
was not taken up again until 1808. 

Copper coins were also issued in denominations of four and two 
maravedies. These coins met with a serious resistance from the Indians, 
who despised the base metal. After a few years they were discontinued, 
not to be coined again until 1814. Four maravedi pieces are not uncom- 
mon but of the two maravedi pieces only one is now known. 

The following assayers' initials have been found on coins of this 
reign AGILOPRS, of which several are known. "R" stands for 
Francisco del Rincon, the first assayer of the Mexico City mint. 

No gold nor no eight real pieces were struck during this reign. 

Philip n. 1556-1598, succeeded Charles I. and Johanna. During 
this reign coins of the usual five denominations were issued. Six different 
assay ers' initials have been identified A E F G O P. 

The famous eight real or "piece of eight" was first issued at this 
time. Circular coins of all denominations were struck but most of the 
coinage was known as "cobs." The word "cob" is a corruption of the 
Spanish "Cabo de barra," indicating that these coins were clipped from 
a bar of metal. This bar was approximately circular and planchets of 
silver were cut off the end. They were never fiat, so that in stamping, 
the lettering and design seldom were perfect. Identification of these 
cobs is generally difficult as can be seen. 

Philip III. succeeded Philip n and reigned from 1598 to 1621. Most 
of his coinage was "cobs" although some circular coins are found. Some 
of the coins bear dates. Three assayers' initials, FAD, are known. 

During this period the first exploration and settlements were made 
by the English on the Atlantic seaboard in what is now known as Vir- 
ginia and Massachusetts. 

Philip IV, 1621-1665 followed Philip in. During his rule coins to 
the value of $161,500,000 were struck in Mexico City. One would suppose 
that all five denominations would be struck. Strangely enough, no known 
one real pieces are listed anywhere. With that huge amount of cur- 
rency struck, it is indeed odd that there are no one real pieces. Research 
may later solve the mystery. 

Three assayers' initials are known, the commonest being "P." 


Dated coins of this reign are fairly common. 

Philip IV. was followed by his son, Charles EL 1665-1700. Most 
of the silver coins were of the "cob" variety and for some reason the 
eight real pieces are hard to find. Most of them are very irregular and 
fantastic in shape. In 1675, the coinage of gold was authorized for the 
New World in the usual series of one, two, four and eight escudos. 

The next ruler was Philip V. 1700-1746, whose coinage is possibly 
the most interesting and unusual of any of the kings. His reign is 
divided into halves, the first from 1700 to January 10, 1724. During 
this period the coins are mostly "cobs." Due to a royal alliance, the 
Bourbon escutcheon consisting of three fleur de lis is placed in the center 
of the coat of arms, being a point of difference to the previous kings, 
thereby making identification easier. 

During this first half of Philip's reign an unusual numismatic event 
took place. In 1702 the combined British and Dutch fleets under Sir 
George Rooke and the Duke of Ormond destroyed the Franco-Spanish 
fleet in Vigo Bay in north western Spain. The captured treasure was 
worth about 1,000,000, roughly $5,000,000. The English coined a special 
series of coins from this silver bullion from the crown down with the 
word "Vigo" on the obverse. They bear witness to the violence of those 

Another similar occurrence comes at the end of the second half of 
Philip's reign. The English again seized a large shipment of bullion 
largely from Peru. Again they issued special coins made from this 
silver, bearing the word "Lima" on the obverse. 

On January 10, 1724, Philip V abdicated in favor of his son, Louis I. 
who ruled to August 31, 1724, a reign of only eight months. Coins of 
this reign are consequently quite rare. Half reales, four and eight 
reales are known. No gold was coined. The assayer's initial is "D." 

Philip V returned to the throne and ruled again from 1724 to 1746. 
During the second half of his rule, modern round, milled coinage was 
issued for the first time in 1732. This is the famous "two pillar" or 
"two world" design, which is a modification of the two pillar design 
of coinage of Carlos and Johanna. The 1732 eight real piece is very 
rare, rarer than the 1804 American dollar. 

In 1733 and 1734 there was issued a series of square cut flat plan- 
chet coins. They appear to be a sort of transitional type between the 
"cobs" and the milled coins. 

Philip V. died in 1746 but the new dies did not arrive until the 
following year, so a number of coins bearing the name of Philip V. 
were issued in 1747, the year following his death. 

Ferdinand VI. assumed the royal mantle in 1746 and died in 1759. 
The usual five denominations of silver coins were issued and four types 
of the gold series. During this period, the American colonies were 
rapidly growing in population and resources. 

The very earliest coins of our country were being struck at about 
this time, the N E shilling and its subdivisions, the willow oak and pine 
tree pieces as well as the number of copper coins. 

The next reign Charles ITT. 1760-1789 was marked by a change in 
the design of the silver coinage. The Pillar design was replaced by the 


bust type in 1772. Coins of the Pillar design of 1772 are quite rare. 
Also in 1772, royal orders were issued to turn in for redemption, all 
"cob 7 * coins which were retired from circulation. 

An interesting coin of this reign occasionally seen, is what appears 
to be a pattern coin in copper, exactly like the current silver ones. They 
are pieces which student or apprentice engravers were required to make 
as a test of skill. 

Three types of gold coins were issued. 

Charles m. died in 1789 but owing to the slowness in sending new 
dies to New Spain, coins were issued inscribed "Charles IV." but bearing 
the bust of Charles m. This occurred for the years 1789 and 1790. 

Charles IV succeeded Charles IDE and reigned from 1789 to 1808. 
During this reign the one quarter real or "cuartilla" was issued again. 
It had been previously issued in 1536 and discontinued. It was well 
received this time. 

There is also a small coin found, similar to the cuartilla except that 
it has no mint mark. They are thought to have been struck for use in 
the Philippine Islands. There was a great volume of trade with the 
Orient, which poured through Acapulco on the Pacific Coast, "which was 
founded in 1550. Goods were packed by mule convoys to Mexico City, 
thence to Vera Cruz and so to Spain. 

An interesting interlude occurs at about this time that is, an un- 
official small change currency in copper, brass, leather and wood the 
so-called "hacienda" currency. For some time there had been a pressing 
need for smaller denominations for making change in trade. Accordingly 
various firms such as merchants, mining companies and large estates 
issued their own token money. This flourished for quite some time but 
as might be expected, fraud and deceit in time sprang up. 

During the reign of the next sovereign, Ferdinand VH. 1808-1833, 
Spain lost practically all of her possessions in the New World. Mexico 
gained her independence in 1821 after a civil war which began in 1810. 

The coinage of this period is quite different from any of the pre- 
vious reigns as civil war was raging for most of the time. 

Owing to the unsettled condition, it was extremely hazardous to 
convoy gold and silver bullion to the mint at Mexico City from the 
mines. Mints were accordingly set up near the mines at Chihauhua, 
Durango, Guadalaxara, Guanaxuato, Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Nueva Vis- 
caya and Oaxaca. The workmanship on the dies of these various mints 
was very poor, generally speaking. 

In addition to these so-called "Royalist" coins, there is also a coin- 
age of the opposing or insurgent side. General Morelos, the leader, issued 
some silver coinage and the usual five denomination, but in copper. They 
are crudely struck and there are many die varieties. 

In 1814, Ferdinand VII. reintroduced copper coins in denominations 
of Vs, ^A and % reales, at the same time banning and outlawing the 
"hacienda" currency mentioned previously. 

The currency of this period is a study in itself as there are many 
die varieties and many types of coins struck. There are also a number 
of counterstamped coins of various kinds. 

Dating from about the time of Charles in. 1760-1789, there is a 


series of proclamation pieces and also medals. They are issued for towns 
and cities and special events, in sizes of two and four and eight real 
pieces. These also are a special study. The only text on them is written 
in Spanish. 

The period outlined is just one division of Mexican currency; how- 
ever, this era is most interesting, unusual and of great historical sig- 
nificance. A study of this coinage will be very rewarding and of great 
satisfaction to any collector. 


1. Numismatic History of Mexico 1938 

by Alberto F, Pradeau D.D.S. 

2. The Coins of Mexico Silver and Copper 

by Alberto F. Pradeau D.D.S. (Wayte Raymond) 

3. Early Spanish and Portuguese Coinage in America 1885 

by J. Carson Brevoort 

4. Hacienda ToTcens of Mexico 1949 

by O. P. Eklund & Sydney P. Noe 

5. Latin American Coins 1929 

by Julius Guttag 

6. Early History of Currency in Australia . . 1949 

by the Bank of New South Wales 

7. Museum Notes IV A.N.S 1950 

8. The Exchange Media of Colonial Mexico 1948 

by Wilbur T. Meek 

9. A History of Mexico 1938 

by Henry B. Parkes 

10. Many notes and items in the following magazines: The Numismatist, 
Numismatic Scrap Boole and Coin Collectors' Journal too numerous to 


One of the last issues of Mexican Revolutionary bills were the "in- 
falsicables" (uncounterfeitables) printed by the American Bank Note Com- 
pany. They were issued at Mexico City in 1916 under the title of "Republica 
Mexicana" at 20 centavos Mexican gold to the peso. The price soon fell, 
however, until the exchange rate became about 400 pesos to one TJ. S. 
dollar. The "infalsicables" . . . were supposed to be impossible to counterfeit 
because they were engraved in a really professional manner and were issued 
with the object of standardizing the money problem and retiring the so- 
called "Vera Cruz Paper." The gold reserve backing the "infalsicables" be- 
came so depleted in 1917 that the Mexican Government had to issue silver 
and gold coins under a decree by the terms of which the National Treasury 
was authorized to receive "infalsicables" in exchange for certificates re- 
deemable at the rate of 10 centavos in silver for a peso in paper. Excerpt 
from "Mexican Revolutionary Bills 1913-1917" by M. R. Brown, The 
Numismatist, December, 1950. 




Courtney L. Coffing 

When mankind learned to exchange things he had for things he 
needed, he had made a step forward in the world. In connection with 
this, he had to determine the value of his products, the value of the 
things he wanted, and convince the other person involved in the trans- 
action of their relative values. 

But he soon learned that many of the items he bartered were per- 
ishable, and would not keep. A cow had a relatively short lifetime ; skins 
were not much better; some were bulky; it was hard to trade a bag of 
grain for half of a live sheep. Some medium of exchange had to be 
arrived at, that could be stored, be a satisfactory medium, a measure of 
value, and accepted as a standard among various peoples. 

Shells were one of the first materials used to satisfy these require- 
ments, and were used by the Chinese in the tenth century before Christ. 
Coins of precious metal as we know them were used in Asia Minor around 
the seventh century before Christ. Civilizations having much business 
to transact developed these mediums before other civilizations did, so it 
could not be said that development of the medium of exchange deter- 
mined the level of culture of a people. 

The Indians of Mexico used the barter system of trade, although 
they had items of a fixed value that were exchanged as money. 

Exchange developed on a large scale when regional specialization 
led to exchange with other communities. For instance, the coast tribes 
had fish and shells ; those in the tropics had seeds and fruits ; while per- 
haps an interior tribe without these items made pottery. 

Some of the items that were considered of sufficient value to warrant 
their use in transactions included pottery, foodstuffs, obisdian and stone 
tools, shells, gold ornaments, 1 cacao beans, salt, quills of gold dust, cop- 
per crescent-shaped knives, jade, silver, cotton cloth, tin pieces, and stone 
beads. 2 

These items were used both as barter, which usually occurred in a 
market place, and as tribute. As tribute, the King of Azcapotzalco 
received fish and sea fowl. 3 Also, foodstuffs and raw materials, foreign 
and native to the Valley of Mexico, were used. These included warriors' 
and priests' costumes, mantles, pottery, and other items of craftsman- 
ship. 4 

As the exchange of specialized items developed, there grew the need 
for a definite place of exchange. Gradually, centers were established 
where these items could be exchanged, and still exist in the markets. 
Barter was the only means of exchange. The value of the items use 
was established by its desirability and rarity. The cacao bean, called 
nibs or grains, of cacao, was used to balance the inequalities of exchange. 
This bean was distinct from the type used for the beverage. 5 They were 
counted as tzontles, equal to four hundred cacao beans; twenty tzontles 
made one jiquipilj and three jiquipils, one cargo,. 6 Frances Toor described 
the markets as f ollows : 

Markets constituted the only pre-Conquest places for trade, so that every 


product was found in them from foodstuffs to the very finest of cloths 
and the most precious of jewels each kept in a separate section as in 
our modern department stores. Everything that was for sale, even slaves, 
was sold in the market places. Markets were held on fixed days. Among 
the Aztecs they were made attractive with the celebration of games and 
fiestas, but also there were laws forcing the people to attend with their 
wares, and there was a fine for selling them on the way. But the people 
then, as now, enjoyed going to market; the early missionaries complained 
that they preferred attending markets to churches.? 

The most precious items that they bartered was jade. It was their 
custom to place their most precious possession with a dead person, to 
allow him to have something of value to take into the next world. This 
jade was often used to bury with the deceased if the family could afford 
it. They gave more value to silver than to gold, because gold was more 
abundant. 9 When Cortes searched for metal for artillery pieces, he dis- 
covered tin pieces circulating as money in several provinces, and learned 
that a tin mine was worked around Taxco. 10 

Around Oaxaca, prior to the coming of the Spaniards, the Indians 
made T-shaped scrapers from copper, called Tajaderas. These were very 
thin, and while fairly large, were the closest thing to coined money that 
the Aztecs had. 11 These tajaderas are still in abundance around Mitla, 
and may be purchased as souvenir items for about one peso each. 

The cloth that was used to barter with was called patolquachtli. 
These were used to purchase items of little value, of immediate neces- 
sity. 12 

Golden quoits or quauhtli were used by the kings to make purchases 
of relatively high cost. It is also believed that they paid the gambling 
losses of the kings, and served as money to some extent. 13 

In the pre-Conquest days, the people were used to getting along on 
what they produced and exchanged. Usually each family had its own 
plot of ground which they worked. However, with the coming of the 
white men, and the plantation system, the henequen workers of Yucatan 
adapted themselves to working for other people. But they still were 
paid in goods under a system that was not too difficult for them to learn, 
considering their background. 

There were tokens of nickel, copper, brass, or lead, usually ill-made, 
and not at all artistic, which were given to the employees for their labor. 
Some were even made by American concerns, like those which carried 
the name of the manufacturer, the American Railway Supply Company, 
of New York. Many were perforated, on the Chinese coin style, to facili- 
tate carrying them. These tokens were known as fichus, guitones> and 

When the henequen worker cleared an area of four hundred square 
meters, known as mecates, he was given a token (ficha or contrasena) 
representing one mecate, or one mecate de Cfiapeo,, chapeo meaning the 
weeding and cleaning of the area. 

Fichas, round and rectangular, of brass were used on the Santa 
Maria Chi hacienda, to pay the workers for cutting the leaves from the 
henequen plant. Thus, a round ficha represented 250 leaves, and a rec- 
tangular one 2,000 leaves. 

The machines on the plantations were powered by wood-burning 
steam engines. For each stack of wood delivered which was two yards 


long, two yards high, and one yard wide, called a tarea, the employee 
received a contrasena. Each employee scraping 100,000 leaves was given 
a ficha representing one hundred units. For the employees traveling on 
the electric cars to the plantations from their homes, passes were given 
them, as the one marked "VATVE FOR UN PASE A KANCABCHEN." 

These tokens were supposed to be exchanged for national currency 
on the plantations, but sometimes they circulated in the adjoining towns 
as money. These fichas were used until a decree by the governor of 
Yucatan, on February 9, 1915, declared them illegal. 14 

The market is still the important place of barter, purchase, and 
sale. Granted, it has many innovations over the old markets money 
circulates some, many new items are offered for sale, and Spanish is 
spoken as well as the Nahuatl language, but the essential charm of the 
Indian market still prevails. 

It is still an important social period - some say that the Indians will 
not sell their wares on the way to market because if they do, they'll miss 
the social contact. Frances Toor has this to say about the matter: 

There is a current story which tourists without realizing the psycho- 
logical reason for it love to tell about some craftsmen -who would not sell 
their wares even at double price before reaching the market place. When 
a native goes to market to sell something, he feels he has no reason for 
going if he has already accomplished his mission; also his refusing to sell 
before reaching the market may have some remote connection with the 
ancient law forbidding such transactions. Customs are often preserved 
without anyone remembering the reason for their existence. One asks a 
native why he does something and his laconic reply is, "Es costumbre," 
"It is the custom."i5 

Others declare that if the Indians sell on the way to the market, 
they are afraid that they will displease the market gods. Frances Toor 
continues : 

The custom of fixed market days exists now and the natives prefer 
markets to stores; in fact, even though they may buy things in a store, 
they never own one. For them, the markets are not only commercial but 
also social institutions, where they go to meet old friends and to make 
new ones; to exchange gossip and to have a good time. 
The present-day markets are departmentalized, especially the larger ones, 
where everything is sold, from small objects to supply the kitchen to 
clothes and personal adornments. The Mexicans, with their artistic sense 
of order and composition, arrange even the vegetables in beautiful pat- 
terns. In the markets where there are no stalls, there is an unwritten 
law which permits each vendor always to occupy the same place and 
all those selling the same things do it in groups; and even on the ground 
they arrange their wares artistically .is 

Miguel Covarrubias describes marketing in Tehuantepec as follows: 

Whether the men go to the fields or work in town, from dawn till sunset 
Tehuantepec becomes a woman's world. Everywhere there are busy 
women moving about, carrying heavy loads on their heads to and from 
the market, buying, selling, gossiping. All activity flows toward the mar- 
ket, and a simple glance at the products displayed affords a vivid picture 
of the economy of Tehuantepec. Everything the region produces is there 
in. its traditional allotted place: rows of luscious fruits and vegetables, 
stands of meat and fish, fresh and dried, shrimps, cheese, butter, flowers 
of all sorts, long rolls of fresh banana leaf for wrapping, baskets of corn, 
piles of totopos, steaming baskets of tamales, turtle eggs, rows of onions, 
sandals, straw hats, mats, fiber nets, hammocks, black potter from Jichitan, 
green glazed plates from Oaxaca, sausages, gaily lacquered gourds from 

Chiapas, embroidered blouses, food of all sorts, coffee and chocolate stands, 
and even a small table with a display of gold jewelry. 

It is evident that only women sell in the markets; the meek and rare men 
seen there come from elsewhere; serranos from Oaxaca who sell fiber 
goods, and Huave who bring in fish, shrimps, and turtle eggs. Should a 
tehuano dare set a stand in the market, the sharp tongues of the women 
would quickly drive him away.17 

The type of workmanship still distinguishes the origin of the mar- 
ket items. 

In some parts of Mexico, cacao beans still are used as a medium of 
exchange, and their possession constitutes a measure of wealth. 18 

We are told that the custom of hiding money in the ground prevails, 
and no inducement whatsoever would persuade an Indian to entrust his 
money to another. 19 The recent aftosa campaign in Mexico illustrates 
this point. The Indians who have had their cattle condemned not only 
do not understand why their cattle were killed, but find it difficult to 
handle the money that they are paid for the animal. Other animals are 
not the same to them, and they will not place their money in a bank, so 
spending it or hiding it are the only recourses left. 

The present-day Mayans still use the cacao bean, small copper bells, 
precious stones, and rare shells for money. 20 

The Tarahumaras of Chihuahua do not use national money for their 
exchange today, but a unit called a chiva. Relative values include one 
blanket equal to ten or twelve chivas; a hectolitre of corn equals eight 
chivas, etc. They rarely have occasion to exchange with themselves, but 
use this system when exchanging with white people or other tribes of 
Indians. Also, they exchange kilograms of salt for cattle. 21 

Thus, it can be seen that the white man has made a marked differ- 
ence in the marketing methods of the Indians of Mexico, but at the same 
time, many of the original methods are kept, or operate side by side 
with the new innovations. 

1 Valliant, Geogre C., Aztecs of Mexico. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran and 
Company, Inc., 1944. p. 127. 

2 Bancroft, Hubert Howe, The Native Races. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft 
and Company, II (1883), 381-2. 

3 Zamacois, don Nieto de, Historia de Mexico, Mexico: J. F. Parres y Cia., I 
(1876), 165. 

4 Valliant, op. cit., p. 126. 

5 Ibid., p. 127. 

6 Soley Guell, Tomas, Historia Monetaria de Costa Rica. San Jose: Imprenta 
Nacional, 1926, p. 10. 

7 Toor, Frances, A Treasury of Mexican Folkways. Mexico: Mexico Press, 
1947. pp. 88-89. 

8 Valliant, op. cit., p. 127. 

9 Ibid., p. 129, 

10 Bancroft, op. cit., II (1883), 381-2. 

11 Loc. cit. 

12 Clavigero, Francisco Javier, Historia Antigua de Mexico. Mexico: Editorial 
Porrua, S.A., II (1945), 283. 

13 Bancroft, op. cit., II (1883), 381-2. 

14 Romero de Terreros, Manuel, Apostillas Historicas. Mexico: Editorial His- 
pano Mexicana, 1945. pp. 229-32. 

15 Toor, op. cit., pp. 88-89. 

16 Loc. cit. 

17 Covarrubias, Miguel, Mexico South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1947 
pp. 274-5. v ' 


18 Bancroft, Hubert Howe, Wild Tribes. San Francisco: The A. L. Bancroft 
Company, I (1883), 700. 

19 Ibid., 637. 

20 Bassuri, Carlos, La Poblacion Jndigena de Mexico. Mexico: Secretaria de 
Educacion Publica, II (1940), 322. 

21 Ibid., I (1940), 342. 


Raold Gerard 

"Where you will find an eagle, sitting on a cactus on a stone in the 
water, tearing with his beak and fangs a snake asunder, there you shall 
settle." This was the message given to the wandering Aztecs and coming 
to Lake Texcoco, finding there the oracle fulfilled, they founded Tenoch- 
titlan, which now is Mexico City. 

In these few pages you will find a number of eagles, destroying a 
snake, as the national emblem of the Republic of Mexico. 

During the Spanish period, 1521 to 1821 the coat of arms of the 
Habsburg dynasty was used in "New Spain,'* together with the double- 
headed eagle and the Burgundian Cross. 

Towards the end of the 18th century, however, when French revolu- 
tionary ideas crept surreptitiously to the new world, new emblems had 
to be found for Mexico; so what was more natural than to revert to the 
ancient Aztec lore. 

Thus the eagle of the Codez Monteleone (No. 1) came in use on 
Morelo's flags and on the early regimental colors of the young republic 
(No. 2 and 3). When Iturbide became Emperor in 1823, coins were struck 
with the crowned eagle (No. 4 and 5) and this, yet snakeless, eagle 
remained in use until about 1830-1833. 

Simultaneously the eagle with the snake, in full accordance with the 
ancient Aztec saga was being used. The Codex Duran among others 
shows such an eagle with the snake, on a cactus on a stone in the water 
(No. 6) and on coins and flags in Chapultepec castle in Mexico City, 
these eagles can be studied in endless variations. No. 7, 8, 9 show such 
eagles looking to the right (dexter) ; this from about 1824-1837 and 
No. 10-17 show these eagles with a snake flying to the right, but looking 
to the left (sinister), this version dating from approximately 1832-1862 
and later. 



Some eagles move to the left (sinister) and look to the right (No. 
18-21), which is heraldically inexact, as the movement counts and the 
whole bird moves to sinister; they date from about 1862-1894. 

By contrast the meteoric period of Emperor Maximilian, 1864-1867, 
from an heraldic point of view is perfect and shows unmistakably 
Napoleonic influence and French elegance (No. 22-25). Of course these 
eagles bear the imperial Mexican crown with the pineapple instead of the 
orbit, a whim of Empress Carlota. The flags were made in France of 
the finest Lyon dragon-green, silver- white and wine-red taffetas (persian- 
taftah), beautifully embroidered by nuns in French convents. 

With the shooting of Maximilian of Habsburg in Queretaro in 1867, 
the Mexican Republic reverted to the crownless eagle with the snake, and 
the flag which President Benito Juarez kept during his exile on the 
Mexican border at Paso del Norte presumably bore an eagle like No. 26. 
The numbers 27-29 are of the same order, the eagles flying to the right 
and looking back, as if to invite the army to follow them (about 1867- 

The eagles No. 30 to 33 have their wings less spread out and fall 
in the period from about 1898-1905, whereas No. 34-37 show again a 
tendency of the spread-out wings, dating from about 1900-1914. 

In 1916, by decree of September 20th came into being the Mexican 
eagle with the snake, in profile looking to the right (dexter), the eagle 
sitting on a cactus, on a stone in the water conform to the old legend 
(No. 38 and 39). Design by Don Antonio Gomez, based on No. 7 and 8 
of 1823. Here the eagle does not hold the snake just behind the head, so 
that the snake easily could have struck the poor eagle in the neck and 
kiUed him. 

Then in 1923 Don Jorge Enciso, Director of Antiquities, colonizer, 
created the drawing No. 40, happily reverting to Aztec conception, also 
giving the snake no opportunity to kill the eagle. 

After this now official eagle, No. 41 shows this eagle as used today 
on all military colors, in this case of the 1st Mexican Infantry Batallion. 
The three eagles (No. 38-40) have also been used on coins, in 1917 on 
the $20 gold coin, on the 1921 $2 silver coin, on the 5 and 10 centavos, 
pieces struck from 1936 to 1942 and in 1947 on the $1 and $5 silver 

Passing along these various designs, one realizes that there has not 
been a definite rule in the development of the national Mexican emblem 
until 1916. 

During the French Revolution the heraldic emblems of kings and 
nobles were systematically abolished, vandalism which also spread to 
the new world, and a rich artistic patrimony was destroyed. The laws 
governing heraldic science were thus lost or forgotten and since then 
much confusion and ignorance ensued. 

However, excellent books on this subject exist and heraldic societies 
willingly help solve knotty problems. 

Today's national emblem of the Mexican Republic is symbolically, 
emblematically and heraldically faultless. 







Early Eagles -without snake: 

1. Eagle of Codex Monteleone. 

2. Color (flag) Rgrt. Guadalajara, 

3. Bat. Color 'Tres Villas," 1833. 

4. Crowned eagle of Emperor Itur- 
bide, 1822-1823. 

5. Same, 1823-1824. 

Eagles with snake: 

6. Eagle of Codex Duran. 

7. Coin of 1823. 

8. Coin of 1824. 

9. Heading of Document, 1837. 

10. Color Bat. Uigero de Puebla. 

11. Military flag, 1833-1848. 

12. Coins of 1832, 1848 and 1857. 

13. Military flag, 1832-1857. 

14. Military Color, 1832-1857. 

15. Military Color, 1832-1857. 

16. Coin, 1832-1857. 

17. Coin, 1866. 

18. Coin, 1862. 

19. Military color 1848-1862. 

20. Color 14th Inf. Bat. 1846-62. 

21. Guyon 1st Brig. Horse Artillery. 

Crowned Eagles of Emperor 
Maximilian : 

22. Cain Mexican Empire, 1864-1867. 

23. Imp. Inf. Bat. Color, 1864-1867. 

24. Imp. Bat. Color, 1864-1867. 

25. Imp. eagle (not military). 

Eagles of the Mexican Republic: 

26. Color (flag) Bat. r,os Poderes, 

27. Bat. Color, 1840-1890. 

28. Color of Rifle Bat., 1862-1879. 

29. Color Bat. Activo de San Bias, 

30. Color Bat. Lib res de Chihuahua, 

31. Coin 1898-1905. 

32. Color 1st Bat. de Linea, 1898-1905. 

33. Coin, 1869-1894. 

34. Color of Bat. Artilleria de Mina, 

35. Coin, 1910-1914. 

36. Bat. Color (not used) 1910. 

37. Coin, 1910-1914. 

38. Heading of document, 1916-1921. 
89. Coin, 1916. 

40. Official eagle, 1923, today. 

41. Bat. Color as from 1923, today. 

All the coins mentioned here belong to the collection of Dr. A. F. 
Pradeau, La Crescenta, California. The flags are in the Historical National 
Museum of the Castillo de Chapultepec. The dates given are approximate. 


Robert C. Cahall 

Twentieth Century Mexico? Yes, but not without the strings which 
tie it to the ancient past. The numismatic arts of this present great 
nation are in most cases merely the embellished symbols and designs of 
its founders. These coins while of recent mintage and a variety of alloys 
not known to exist when the first law for coinage of Mexican specie w r as 
passed on May 11, 1535 are living mementos of a glorious past. 

As a historical note, the first conventionally shaped Mexican coins 
were pieces of two, three and four reales, struck at the Mexico City 
Mint by Sr. Alonso del Eicon, Assayer. They were mostly of silver as 
the copper was of poor quality and brittle, and could not withstand the 
blows of the coining hammer. Probably the reason for this poor grade 
of copper is that it was mined and refined by the Indians of Mechoacan, 
using the most primitive methods, and then sent to the Mint for trans- 
formation into coins. 


Let us then consider the Twentieth Century coins struck by Mexico, 
and examine them closely to ascertain if they truly belong to the present. 
How odd, that we find in the glitter of their polish, and revealed in 
their remarkable die work, the lore and tradition of the Aztecs, who, 
historians tell us, were the fathers of the Mexican nation. Both the 
obverse and reverse of many of the present day coins are inscribed with 
the symbols of this ancient civilization. 

On the face of the coins is to be found the coat of arms of the nation. 
This emblem dates back to the year 1325, when 109 years before, in the 
year 1216, the Aztecs, having been conquered by the Colhuas, were 
reduced to slavery; and their existence as a nation seemed compromised 
for all times. For their astuteness and valor shown while fighting for 
their masters during one of the innumerable bloody conflicts of the 
time, they were given their freedom, Happy over the recovery of their 
liberty, they began their peregrinations, finally settling near lakes 
Tezcoco, Xochimilco, Chalco, and Xaltocan. On their arrival at the 
lakes they saw, growing on a rock in the center of the lake, a cactus; 
and on the cactus an eagle perched, holding in his beak a snake. It was 
here that they formed a city, which they first named Tenochtitlan, mean- 
ing ' * Stone and Cactus. ' ' At a later date, the Aztecs took the name of 
Mexieatls, from which the name of Mexico was derived. It was taken 
from a Toltec word, meaning "Situated near water." 

The other of the two chief designs found on Twentieth Century coins 
is the replica, in various degrees of exactness, of the Aztec calendar. 

The Aztec calendar is a gigantic block of carved stone. It bears the 
same significance to the historical development of the Americas as that 
baked clay tablet, which enabled archaeologists to translate the Cunei- 
form writing which opened to present day civilization the dark past of 
the Egyptians. This Aztec calendar has proved to be as accurate a 
means of computing time as any present day method. It is actually pre- 
sumed to have been conceived by the Mayan race, but one of the early 
Aztec kings, " Quetzacoatl, " borrowed it from them while migrating 
through Yucatan. The calendar is based on a Lunar year and is 011 the 
same principle as both the early Egyptian and Asiatic calendars. 

The Aztec calendar represents a cycle of fifty-two years, divided into 
four periods of thirteen years each. To remove the difference in point 
of duration between the solar year and the civil year they added a 
complementary period of thirteen days (a symbolic number to them) 
to the end of each cycle. There were eighteen months of twenty days 
each ; and to make up the full 365 days, there were added to the last 
month of each year five days which were called NE MONT EMI ; i. e., 
useless, and these days were set aside for festivities. 

This stone is reproduced on most coins, jewelry, leather carving, and 
souvenirs manufactured in Mexico. 

From 1900 to 1905, all coins bear the inscription, ** Republic of 
Mexico," and are struck in the denominations of pesos 50, 20, 10, 5, 
2y 2 , 2, and 1 in gold. In silver are 2 and 1 peso pieces, and centavos 
50, 20, 10, and 5. In base metals are to be found 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 
centavo pieces. The principal design used is the coat of arms on the 
reverse, and on the obverse the date and rayed liberty cap, denoting a 
free nation. In 1905 we have a major change to "Estados Unidos 


Mexicans," i. e., the United States of Mexico, still keeping the coat of 
arms and, in higher denominations, the liberty cap this same design 
being carried down to the present. 

There are few exceptions, one of which is the most recent coinage of" 
the 50 peso gold victory piece. Since the Republic abandoned the gold 
monetary standard in 1931, the issuance of this new piece is considered 
as merchandise, rather than money, and has no legal tender value stated 
on the coin : although it is of the same weight and fineness as regular 
issue pieces, containing 37.5 grams of pure gold. The piece was released 
to the public April 15th, 1943. It has the same winged victory statue 
as the two pesos silver piece, which commemorates the centenary of 
Mexico's independence, declared in 3821. 


J. Verner Scaif e 

One bleak evening in December 1949, I was quietly reading a maga- 
zine, when I was somewhat startled by coming upon the following word- 
ing in a current advertisement: 

"Yes there was a time when 'money' was made of glass. Nearly 350 
years ago in James Towne, Virginia, the nations first industry a glass 
house was founded. Among other items, it made glass beads which 
were used to trade with the Indians. Thus this glass house actually be- 
came the New World's first mint" 

It goes without saying that the Research Department of this nation- 
ally known firm was clearly in error, and therefore the embryonic idea 
of the title of this article is due to this anomalous statement. When I was 
a boy I vividly recall Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island," in which 
Captain Flint's parrot kept yelling "Pieces of Eight, pieces of Eight!" 
Actually this mimetic bird was giving the correct name to what our 
English and American ancestors called the Spanish Dollar. This coin 
was, and still is, the most famous of all silver coins in the entire world. 
The coin itself was not a monetary unit, but rather a multiple of the 
Spanish Real. 

The Mexico City mint, the first one on the North or South American 
continents, began its career in the year of 1536, or just 84 years after 
Columbus made his first historic voyage, and, furthermore, this was 
exactly 256 years before the first United States Mint struck its first coins 
at Philadelphia. 

Mexico, one of the largest silver producing countries in the world, 
has been accountable for about half the world's supply of silver. Con- 
quered in 1521 by a handful of Spaniards (600 soldiers, 16 horses, and 
some artillery) under the perspicacious Hernando Cortes (1485-1547), 
the new territory was named Nueva Espana (New Spain). This newly 
acquired territory was under Spanish dominance for almost 300 years, 
until in 1810, Hidalgo, a parish priest, led an open rebellion, which ended 
after eleven years of murderous and sanguinary conflict. Father Miguel 
Hidalgo (1753-1811) earned the posthumous title of "Liberator of 


The coinage of Nueva Espana ran into many billions, and the re- 
nowned pieces of eight and pesos served as a generally accepted medium 
of exchange in the United States, the Philippines, China the Carib- 
bean Islands, etc. The first American, or Continental currency of this 
country, was made payable in Spanish milled dollars. Moreover, the 
Mexican peso and its sundry subdivisions were legal tender in this 
country until February 21, 1857, when the Congress ruled them out. 

Pre-Spanish Period 

When the first Conquistadors reached the New World, coined money 
as we know it today, simply did not exist here, as it did hi Europe. How- 
ever, the empirical and endemic Aztecs did keep records of the tributes 
paid in by each tribe, and these taxes or tributes consisted of a hetero- 
geneous assortment of objects such as precious stones, gold (in the form 
of dust or necklaces,) jaguar skins, copper shields for armor, stone or 
metal axes, live eagles, beans, corn, paper (which was obtained from the 
maguey plant,) cochineal dyes (derived from the dried bodies of an 
insect,) blankets, gourds, salt, etc. Montezuma U (1466-1520), the 
Emperor who greeted Cortes, always preached against idleness, saying 
it was the source of all evil; consequently, all Aztecs were kept thor- 
oughly occupied, and each paid a tax, either in material objects, or by 
rendering services. Thus the aged and infirm, even the neurotics, col- 
lected all kinds of things. 

Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage, erroneously mistook some 
gold ornaments as being coins, but on his later voyages, he became aware 
that cacao beans were the most popular form of exchange. Cacao beans 
are the seeds of a fruit that flourishes in this semi-tropical climate. In 
one of the few remaining written records of Cortes, he mentioned "tin 
pieces," but other writers of the period do not. No early historian men- 
tions the name Tajaderas, which was the native name of the well-known 
"Hoe Money" of the Aztecs, so this form of exchange must have come 
into vogue several generations after the founding of the Mexico City mint. 
These pieces might have been intended to be used as animal hide scrapers, 
or even possibly as shaping instruments for pottery. 

Besides cacao beans, small pieces of a woven cloth fabric, called 
Patolcuachtli, and gold dust enclosed in duck bills, were similarly used 
in barter. 

Colonial Period 

After the conquest of Mexico, some convenient system of exchange, 
rather than barter, became a vital necessity. The Indians had gold dust 
formed into discs, marked with the proper weight. Counterfeiting is 
not a modern form of chiseling, because even in those days, spurious 
means were devised to add copper illegally to the gold discs. The 
natives soon gave the name Tepuzque (meaning copper) to these nuga- 
tory discs, and as nearly as can be determined, these discs were used 
from about 1535 to towards the end of that century. 

Mexico City Mint 

In the year 1526, the Spanish Licentiate in Law, or Resident Judge, 
Luis Ponce de Leon (circa 1470-1526), arrived in Mexico City, and he 
brought with him the official dies bearing the royal arms, with precise 
instructions to stamp the Tepuzque gold discs. His orders further stipu- 
lated that he was to assay and mark the fineness on each piece, but his 


untimely death prevented the carrying out of this practical royal com- 
mand. Even though newly coined money was sent out from the mother 
country, this scheme was costly and somewhat dangerous, due primarily 
to the uncertainties of navigation in non-seaworthy galleons, and to 
unexpected tropical storms, etc. There were never sufficient Spanish 
coins to take care of the greatly increased commerce and trade of Nueva 
Espana, so that a local mint became a "must." 

Dr. Alberto F. Pradeau of La Crescenta, California, in his delightful 
and scholarly work entitled Numismatic History of Mexico, has given 
numismatists a crystal clear picture of the workings of the Mexico City 
Mint, and also of the Laws pertaining to it. 

On May 11, 1535, a royal Cedula was issued for the new mint at 
Mexico City by Queen Johanna, in the name of King Charles, to be 
governed strictly by the Spanish laws pertaining to domestic mints. The 
first New World Mint was authorized to strike 3, 2, 1, and V 2 Real 
denominations; approval was also given for copper coins, but only under 
the stipulation that the appointed viceroy deemed this advisable. If so, 
the design was to be left to the discretion of Viceroy Mendoza, the 
appointed officer. This man had the benefit of previous mint experience, 
as he was a former Treasurer of the Spanish Granada Mint. In order 
to defray expenses, the Crown granted 1000 Marks (a measure of weight 
equivalent to y 2 pound ; one mark of silver was converted into 60 8 
Real pieces in coin) of silver, which was to be deducted from the "Royal 
Fifth"* or Quint. This "royal fifth" idea was a generally accepted 
custom of the age, and the penalty for disregarding it, was death; it 
immensely helped the King's personal fortune, and was imposed as a 
tax upon every type of metal which was mined. No silver came into the 
mint, unless it certified that the royal fifth had been assured. Current 
expenses were met by charging 3 Reals for coining each mark of silver. 
The latter order was ratified by King Philip II on February 15, 1567. 

Another type of a tax was the custom of charging a y 2 Real fee 
for placing the government seal; that is, the device of His Majesty "Plus 
Ultra/' on gold bars sold to jewelers. Actually, the officials sent out by 
the King were late in getting started and did not arrive until the autumn 
of 1537. 

Late in 1536, the Tepuzques or gold discs were officially called in 
at the mint to be melted down and recoined, so therefore this was the 
first issue of any gold coins on the North American Continent, but unfor- 
tunately, not one specimen has survived. Viceroy Mendoza states that 
Francisco del Rincon was the first assayer at the mint, and that one 
Anton de Vides was the engraver. The Carolus and Johanna coins were 
struck by hand, probably in the spring of 1536, and at that time there 
were about thirty employees at the mint, the first location being part 
of the site of Cortes' house. A later site placed the mint on the "Calle 
de la Moneda," literaUy "Coin Street," and the Mexico City mint remained 
there until 1729. The mint was again rebuilt between 1772 and 1782 at 
a cost of over one million dollars. From 1537 to 1821, a total quantity 
of 68,778,411 gold pesos, and the astronomical quantity of 2,082,260,637 
silver coins were minted at Mexico City! 

* or^the ^(?lonies abella ' in 15 4> ordered tnis tax on a11 metals in Spanish territory 


One peculiarity was the fact that the Spanish government and its 
Colonial representatives, considered the mint as a private business 
enterprise, hence the leases were merely governed by the existing coinage 
laws. Therefore the offices of Assayer, Treasurer, Smelter, Engraver 
and Weigher, were constantly sold to the highest bidder, without the 
least consideration as to whether the lessee was competent or not. 
Incidentally, the sale of any one of these offices was for life, so it is 
more than probable that plenty of rapacious legerdemain existed. How- 
ever, the above arrangement was finally terminated in 1762, when the 
mint was at last incorporated into the Royal Treasury. 

The coins of new Spain are quite easy to identify, those of Mexico 
City having an "M," with a small "o" above, by the king's name, by the 
type and shape of the coin, etc. Moreover, the assayer's initials (we call 
them the mintmaster's initials) are usually visible, and a rather complete 
list is now available of the large majority of them, from the mint's first 
inception. The first dated coins from this mint were struck in 1580, but 
as the early dies were most irregular in shape, the date itself having 
been near the edge, quite frequently does not show. In addition, Spanish 
numismatists state that the pillars of Hercules, the motto PLUS ULTRA 
(meaning "More Beyond"), and the title Rex Indiarum, were only used 
on coins struck in New World mints. 

King Ferdinand died in 1516, and was succeeded by his daughter 
Johanna, who unfortunately soon exhibited signs of feeble-mindedness, 
so that it was necessary for her eldest son, Charles, to assume regal 
responsibility as co-ruler. Their joint rule was from 1536-55, and silver 
3 Reals and 2 Reals were probably struck in 1536 during the mint's first 
year of operation. Both of these pieces are marked with a small Gothic 
"M." The first coinage law of Mexico was passed on May 11, 1535 (it 
doubtless required time to be effective), and this provided for the strik- 
ing of the Cuarto (% R), V 2 , 1, 2 and 3 Real denominations. Strangely 
enough, a 4 Real piece was struck, although it was not provided for 
under the law. The 3 R piece was revoked in November 1537, due to 
the fact that the Indians got it confused with the 2 R, so at this time 
the unauthorized 4 R was made legal tender. No y% R or a Cuarto in 
Charles' and Johanna's reign is known to exist. The latter "R" below 
the Pillars of Hercules on the 2 R piece, stands for the assayer's initial, 
who was Alonso del Rincon. 

Persistent and creditable legends insist that copper 2 and 4 Mara- 
vedis were struck at this mint, but the copper itself was of a poor quality 
and was brittle, so that the coins could not withstand the pressure of 
the hammer. Moreover, the Indians of Mechoacan did not care for cop- 
per coins, and "threw them in Lake Texcoco." It is believed that 200,000 
pesos worth of these copper coins found their way to the bottom of 
the Lake, so it was naturally found expedient to cease the unpopular 
copper coinage about 1538, and no further copper coinage was attempted 
for over 200 years! 

Early Spanish pieces struck in the New World were made by 
extremely crass methods. The crude metal had to be given fineness, 
and this was taken care of by assaying and by refining methods. A sheet 
of metal of the proper coin thickness was fabricated, and scissors or 
shears were utilized to cut each piece to the nearest correct size that 


was humanly possible. These early coins had no beauty, nor any uni- 
formity of size or thickness. If one were overweight, it was clipped; 
If underweight, it was remelted so that it could be restruck. Later on, 
in the early part of the seventeenth century, the metal was converted 
into rods of a predetermined diameter of the correct coin width, and 
these rods were then sliced up into proper thicknesses; as before, the 
light and heavy pieces were remelted. This second mint method helped 
to form the coins in a more circular shape. 

Under Philip in (1598-1621), the first of the so-called cob money 
was produced, or as the natives called it, "Ma'quina de Papalote y Cruz," 
literally "windmill and cross money." These cobs were produced by 
lopping off sections from rudely rolled silver bars, and then striking 
the planchets by hammer from very crude dies. The edges of these coins 
presented every known variety of form, except that of a perfect circle, 
and it is easy to imagine what a temptation this presented for the prac- 
tice of clipping. Strange as it seems, these cobs are found to be within 
a few grains of their supposedly lawful weight, and a few are dated as 
late as 1770. Typical cobs show the large cross of Jerusalem with four 
arms of equal length, and flattened at the ends; the date often omits 
the first figure; that is, it is shown as 733, which is to be read 1733. 
The apocalyptic motto, "PLVSULTRA," is impressed on in a rather 
sloppy way. The first reference to cob money is found in a list of books 
on the subject of coinage in the New World, entitled "Bibliografia 
Numismatica Colonial Hispano Americana/' published in 1912 by Jose 
Toribio Medina (1852-1930) of Santiago, Chile, an eminent scholar, who 
had studied the archives of the West Indies in Seville and Simancas, 
Spain. Mr. Medina mentions "a contract between the King and a Doctor 
Vellerino for the application of an invention (of one Miguel de la Cerda, 
deceased), for the striking of coins cut by scissors from silver bars, this 
method to be applied to the five existing mints of the Indies, namely 
Mexico City, Lima, Potosi, Santa Fe, and Santo Domingo* of the Isla 
Espanola." The contract was made in Madrid, on August 9, 1598. 

It is not within the scope of this article to endeavor to describe the 
various and sundry coins of the different monarchs, but passing mention 
should be made of branch or provisional mints in Mexico. 

Branch Mints 

The powerful mining interests, in the remote provinces, had sug- 
gested on numerous occasions the establishment of branch mints. The 
mine owners rightly claimed that it was impractical and expensive to ship 
precious metal to the Mexico City Mint over perilous roads which were 
continually infested with bandits. Hence-several locations were suggested, 
such as at Arizpe (then the capital of Sonora), but nothing was done until 
around 1770; secondly Guadalajara (the capital of Nueva Galicia) but it 
required forty years before this mint was erected in 1810. It is quite plain 
that the Crown and the local Viceroy did not approve of the idea of 
branch mints, because each believed that the importance of the Mexico 
City Mint, the first in the New World, would be diminished. 

The City of CTiichuaha founded the San Felipe de Chichuaha Mission 
in 1639, and shortly thereafter, gold and silver mines were discovered. In 

* See separate paragraph on this. 


1810 a mint was established here, but as the mint had no machinery of 
its own, the coins were cast. This was accomplished by using the regular 
issues of 8 Real pieces, produced at the Mexico City Mint, and erasing 
the Mintmark (M), and replacing it with "CA." In addition, two counter- 
marks were stamped on by hand. 

Other Crown mints were as follows: 

Guadalajara. The city was founded in 1532, and the first mint in 
1812 ; it was closed in 1815 but reopened again in 1818. During the War 
of Independence, this was the only mint permitted to coin gold. The mint- 
mark was GA. 

Guanajuato. This splendid mining district had been exploited since 
1556. Hidalgo captured the city in 1810, and procured silver bars with 
which to pay his army. The mint was officially founded in 1812, but was 
closed a year later for reasons which remain unknown. Mintmark was 
G with "o" enclosed. 

Sombrerete. Mint began operations in 1810, was closed in 1812 due 
to the close proximity of the Durango and Zacateas mints. A Spanish 
civilian named Don Fernando Vargas, the Superintendent of Mines, had 
charge of coining operations, and struck his own name on all coins, hence 
the designation "Vargas Coins." 

Zacateas. This most prolific of all mints was opened November 14, 
1810, and was a Revolutionary Mint. 

Durango. 1811-21, a Revolutionary Mint. 

Oaxaca. A blacksmith's shop served as the mint before the insur- 
gent forces took the city. 

On the morning of September 16, 1810, the now well-known parish 
priest, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, began his revolt against the existing 
Spanish Government of Nueva Espana. This was a Sunday, the church 
bells tolled, but instead of a religious service, the assembled congregation 
was told to rise in a recondite manner to arms and independence ! Within 
two weeks, about 20,000 men had been gathered together, with but a scant 
100 rifles, but the majority were armed with spears, lances, hoes, pitch- 
forks, stones, hatchets, etc. When the Guanajuato Mines were taken by 
Hidalgo, he had silver bars, which for all practical purposes, was in reality 
a mint. Hidalgo himself drew up the plans for minting machinery, and 
when the Royalists retook Guanajuato, they liked this Hidalgo invented 
machinery so much that they had it crated and sent to the Mexico City 
Mint as a model. 

Valladolid. The first of the Insurgent Provisional coins were struck 
here. Hidalgo procured church silverware with which to strike coins. 

Morelos was a Catholic priest, ordered by Hidalgo to raise an army 
in the South. He coined copper coins for his army to be redeemed in silver 
or gold, of the same size and thickness as the standard one. These pieces 
have on the obverse SUR or SUD (both mean "South"), and an arrow 
(indicating the direction of the wind), and on the reverse, the monogram 
MOS, for Morelos. These were probably struck in 1811 in Tixtla, but 
many counterfeits are known. When Morelos captured Oaxaca, cast silver 
coins were issued. He was taken prisoner in 1815 and executed. 

Hidalgo was ultimately first degraded from the priesthood, and was 


then shot as a rebel on July 31, 1811. The meaning of the name Hidalgo 
is literally "one of gentle birth." 

During its long and honorable history, the Spanish dollar was struck 
in several different forms, those most familiar to our ancestors first bore 
on the obverse the Spanish royal arms, while the reverse showed the well- 
known design of two globes between the pillars of Hercules. Of this type, 
Mexico issued over 441,000,000 pieces. Beginning with Charles III (1759- 
1788) the obverse carried the head of the reigning monarch with the two 
globes being replaced by the shield of Spain between pillars on the reverse. 
Of this type, over 882,000,000 were issued. These so called "pillar dollars" 
were exclusively a Spanish-American product, because the pillars of 
Hercules appeared on coins struck in Spain only after the Colonial revo- 
lutions of 1821. True, the Spanish dollar did shrink slightly in silver 
content, but throughout the American Revolutionary days it steadfastly 
retained its place as the dominant "hard money" piece in the Colonies. 
Later on, when the U. S. was established, the amount of silver in the 
average Spanish dollar then in circulation in our country became the 
standard for our own dollar. While it is true that this average weight was 
several grains lighter than that of newly minted Spanish dollars, it would 
have been impractical to take full weight as standard, because the new 
coins would then have been more valuable than the current ones and 
would have been exported, melted down, or hoarded. 

The pillars of Hercules, of course, represented the Straits of Gibral- 
tar. This device first appeared on coins of the Emperor Charles V of 
Spain, with the modern motto "Plus Ultra" in place of the ancient "Non 
Plus Ultra" because Columbus had proved that there were other lands 
and other worlds beyond the limits set by Hercules. 


Guatemala, which is now the most populous and second largest 
country in Central America, was formerly an important Spanish territory. 
Nueva Guatemala was founded on its present site, following an earth- 
quake in 1773 which wrecked the older capital of Antiqua. The earliest 
mint was established in 1733, and the coinage began within a year, the 
mintmark being a G, and later NG (for Nueva Guatemala). The first 
coins were issued in the reign of Philip V (1700-1746), and were the peso 
and its subdivisions. The second mint, established 1776, issued coins of 
the bust type of Charles IV (1788-1808) and of Ferdinand VII (1808-22). 
The early issues of coins were of the irregular planchet type, and it was 
not until 1753 that circular planchets were used. 

Lima. The renowned authority on Spanish coins, Senor Aloiss Heiss 
merely states that this mint was active from the time of Philip IV (1621- 
1665). Lima itself was founded in 1535 by Francesco Pizarro, and was 
known as the "City of Kings." The mint itself was established in 1568 
under the direction of the Licentiate Garcia de Castro. For about a 
century and a half, only silver pieces were minted, although fabulous 
quantities of gold were extracted from the nearby opulent mines. The 
"Kings Fifth" on the metals mined here, up to the early part of the seven- 
teenth century, amounted to approximately three hundred million dollars ! 
The first coinage resembled the Mexican one under Charles and Johanna, 
with the mintmark P for Peru. This mint experienced various vicissitudes 


throughout the centuries, but in 1684 the silver pieces of Charles II 
(1665-1700) showed the castle and lions between the angles on a cross and 
on the other side columns with floriated capitals and the legend "Plus 
Ultra." A date in an abbreviated form (like 650 for 1650) was placed 
under the cross. 

This mint remained in activity until 1821 when the city was cap- 
tured by the Revolutionary side, which issued its first coins in that year. 
It may be of interest to note that various silver pieces dated 1745-1746 
of George H (1727-1760) of England were struck and labeled LIMA on 
the obverse, the silver, according to Edward Hawkins in his "The Silver 
Coins of England/' having been mined at Lima, and taken from a cap- 
tured Spanish ship. Lima was the second mint of the New World, and 
the earliest issues are all rare. The mintmaster's (or assayer's) initial 
R on the earliest coins can conceivably stand for Francisco del Rincon, 
the first assayer of the Mexico City Mint, who may have been dispatched 
to Peru. It is hoped that more light may be shed on the numismatic 
history of Peru. 

Potosi. This territory is now part of Bolivia, but from a numismatic 
standpoint, it should be considered as Peruvian territory, as it was during 
Spain's Colonial period. Potosi itself is situated at an altitude of 13,612 
feet on a mountain laden with riches in the form of mines beneath. Even 
in spite of its apparent inaccessibility, Potosi was once one of the world's 
wealthiest cities. Its inception dates back to 1547, and the first mint was 
actually established in 1575, under the direction of Alonso Rincon, the 
first assayer; this peripatetic gentleman also held this post at Lima and 
Mexico City. The problems of transportation of machinery and supplies 
to such a lofty altitude must have been terrific, even for such resolute men 
as these stalwart pioneers. As with Lima and Mexico City, silver coins 
struck here under the monarchs Philip n, III and IV, or from 1556 to 
1665, showed the crowned Spanish arms on the obverse and the typical 
cross quartered with castles and lions on the reverse. 

The first mintmark was P and this designation was used until the 
time of the circular coins with the abbreviated monogram of Potosi, or 
the letters PTS. The last year of issue was in 1825, this being the last 
regular mint owned and operated by Spain in the New World. Mr. 
Samual Smith, Jr., pointed out the fact that it is a bizarre coincidence 
that the first coins of the Republica del Rio de la Plata, struck in 1813, 
also have the PTS mintmark. Charles V conferred the title "villa im- 
perial" upon Potosi. 

Santa Fe de Bogota once Peruvian territory, but now the capital of 
Colombia, is located at an altitude of over a mile and a half above sea- 
level, having been founded August 6, 1538, by Gonzalo Jimenez de 
Quesada, and was named after his birthplace Santa Fe, and after the 
Southern capital of the Chibchas, Bacata. This was made the capital of 
the viceroyalty of Nueva Reino de Granada in 1718, and became a center 
of Spanish Colonial power in South America. Quesada reached his desti- 
nation via the Magdalena River on foot, accompanied by 166 men and 59 
horses. This mint was founded in 1622, the mintmark being NR, for 
Nueva Reino. The erection of a new mint was begun in 1751, and the 
first gold coins were struck in 1756. The earliest silver coins, struck 
during the reign of Philip IV (1621-65), were similar to the Mexico City 
pieces of Charles and Johanna. The die work was relatively poor, and 


although most of the coins were really dated, these are frequently missing, 
due to the weak striking. The Republican forces captured the mint in 
1820. Senor Heiss erroneously attributed the mintmark NR to Nicaragua. 

Popayan is situated 240 miles Southwest of Bogota, located on the 
old trade route between that city and Quito. It was founded by Sebastian 
Benalcazar in 1528 on the site of a former Indian settlement whose chief, 
Payan, had the unique honor of having his name given to the new town 
by these unaltruistic Spaniards. Popayan, the second mint in Colombia, 
was probably chosen for its proximity to once important mines, and the 
royal decree to establish the mint was issued in 1749, although previous 
petitions had apparently been disregarded. It was, however, nine years 
later, in 1758, before the first coins were minted. This mint, after five 
years of operation, was closed on May 20, 1763, through the insistence of 
the authorities at Quito, but work was again resumed in 1767, and it was 
kept open until the end of the Spanish domination. The mintmarks were 
P or PN. 

Santiago. The author cannot locate a definite date for the founding 
of this Spanish mint, but there are gold coins known struck by Ferdinand 
VT (1746-1759) from 1750 to 1760, being 8 Seudo pieces. There are also 
silver 8 Reals and y 2 Real pieces of this monarch. The mintmark was S. 

Santo Domingo or the Spanish Colony of Hispaniola. At one time, 
it was thought that a mint was in existence here from 1516 until the late 
eighteenth century, but there is no verification of this, even though certain 
coins of Charles and Johanna are sometimes accredited to it. By the early 
part of the seventeenth century, the oppressive Colonial policy of Spain 
in this nidus, had almost depopulated the Island of Hispaniola. Therefore, 
almost deleted of its former inhabitants, the Island became a home of 
unlimited herds of wild cattle and pigs, which was a marvelous locality 
for pirates and other buccaneers to provision their ships. Moreover, a 
mint in this locality, would have been the first objective to be attacked 
by pirates. 

There is an extensive numismatic coinage of Spanish American dol- 
lars which were countermarked for various Islands of the West Indies. 
Then, too, in 1797, when the Bank of England suspended payment, mil- 
lions of pieces of eight were put into circulation countermarked first with 
an oval stamp of George m, and later with an octagonal impression. 

Any account of Early Mints of the New World would be incomplete 
without reference to the various "Tree Shilling" coinage of Massachusetts. 
The Pine Tree Shilling is the best known of our Colonial coins, and this 
coin more than any other, stirs the imagination of collectors of the Colo- 
nial series. Joseph Jenks was the die cutter for the Pine" Tree coin, and 
he came from Hammersmith, England, and was a descendent of an ancient 
Welsh family. He was a machinist, and a man of great genius, an em- 
ployee of the first Iron Works in America at Saugus, Massachusetts. 

A man named John Hull was actually the first mintmaster of New 
England. Born in Market Harborough, Lancastershire in 1624, John 
Hull arrived in Boston in 1635, and soon made a name for himself in the 
army, and as being Treasurer of War during Philip's war. He was the 
actual coiner of the Pine Tree Shillings, the first silver coins of what is 
now the United States. The General Court of Massachusetts ordered a 
mint in 1651 and stated each shilling was to be of three pennyweight. 


Many Spanish pieces were melted down for the silver content, and 
although these shillings are all dated 1652 (one exception is the Oak Tree 
twopence of 1662), they were struck for a period of over thirty years. 
The Court built the mint on John Hull's land, and he received one shilling 
in every twenty coined. There were over fifteen different die varieties 
used, and these were not to be current outside of New England, and not 
more than twenty shillings were to be taken outside of the country. The 
town of Saugus is in Essex County, near Lynn, and the first settlement 
there dates from 1629. John Hull died in October 1683. 

The "Granby" or "Higley Copper'* was the first copper money struck 
in America. John Higley, a commercial blacksmith, decided to have his 
own mint to alleviate the shortage of small change. During the years of 
1737-39, in his shop at Granby, Connecticut, this man struck several kinds 
of copper coins, one with the legend "Value Me As You Please," made 
from copper probably from the nearby Simsbury mines. These now rare 
issues were current in the vicinity until the district became overrun with 
them, at which time, Higley changed the legend to "I Am Good Copper." 
The pieces varied in weight from 120 to 170 grains. Higley tried to have 
his coinage legalized, but was unsuccessful. Granby is about 15 miles 
North-west of Hartford. 

The celebrated Maryland Sixpence, according to The Numismatist of 
October 1912, had three die varieties. Silvester Sage Crosby, the foremost 
authority in the world on U. S. Colonial issues says that the Maryland 
coins were private tokens, actually struck in 1783 by John Chalmers, a 
local goldsmith, of Annapolis. Chalmers was well known in his day, 
having been a member of the Common Council of Annapolis, and records 
indicate that he was appointed to take the town census. After the 
Revolutionary War, numerous coins and tokens appeared, some probably 
as patterns for national coinage, and some issued by the States. In reality, 
these were tokens, because they had no Federal backing, and were struck 
by individuals. The Maryland threepence, sixpence and shilling, each of 
a different design (the shilling was of two types), were undoubtedly 
popular with the colonists, due to the fact that most of the surviving 
specimens are well worn with age. Chalmers' designs are easily under- 
standable, because the designs included "clasped hands" (signifying 
friendliness), thirteen circles and thirteen stars (original colonies), the 
liberty cap, and eye. Another design of "Serpent and Doves" has never 
been satisfactorily explained, and it would be interesting to discover 
exactly what Chalmers' original idea was. The tokens were of quite good 
die work, and this, together with the fact that paper money had reached 
an all-time low in value, made them readily acceptable. The colonists were 
so pressed for small change, that they cut up Spanish eight Real pieces 
into segments, but eventually tradesmen refused to accept these "bits" 
so the canny Chalmers was enabled to buy these cut segments very 
cheaply, and melt them down to recoin as his coins, at a profit. All of 
these silver Chalmers coins are rare, but a copper issue is extraordinarily 
rare, there being but three specimens known of this copper penny, and 
today one is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, one in the National Coin 
Collection, Smithsonian Institution and another in the Collection of the 
University of Pennsylvania. 

One other native American coin, minted in Baltimore, is known as the 
Standish Barry threepence, and was issued in 1790. This man minted a 


small silver coin, dated July 4, 1790. He was a jeweler and silversmith, 
and the first Baltimore directory of 1802 states that Standish Barry 
resided at 20 North Gay Street, and listed his vocation as a watchmaker. 
Once again, this coin was struck because of the dirth of small change 
(the Mott Token appeared in N. Y. C. in 1789), and also it served as an 
advertisement. In 1810, Barry switched from being a jeweler to being a 
dealer in groceries, and a refiner of sugar. He had a splendid record in 
the War of 1812, and became a colonel in the army, and afterwards 
became sheriff of Baltimore County. Barry died November 6, 1844, at the 
age of 81. 

I have purposely not included such well-known Early American Coins 
as the Nova Constellatio, the Kentucky Cent, Talbot, Allum and Lee 
Token, the Sommer Island Pence, the Lord Baltimore Coinage, etc., as all 
of these were struck and minted in England. 


"The Silver Coins and the Mints of Spanish-America/' by Samuel Smith, Jr. 
A. J. N., Vol. 19, April 1895. 

"American Journal Numismatics" 1893. 

"Numismatic History o-f Mexico" by Dr. Alberto F. Pradeau. 

"Early Spanish and Portuguese Coinage in America" by J. C. Brevort. 

"The Coin Collectors' Journal" 1941-48, articles by Wayte Raymond, 
Robert I. Nesmith and Phares O. Sigler. 

"Jose Torbibio Medina/' by S. E. Roberts. 

"The Exchange Media of Colonial Mexico/' by Wayte Raymond. 

"The Numismatist." 

"The Gold Coins of North and South America," by Wayte Raymond. 

"The Coinage of the West Indies," by Howland Wood. 

"The Encyclopedia Britannica" 

"Early Coins of America," by S. S. Crosby. 





Thomas W. Voetter 

There are many countries of Latin America that have more extensive 
coinages than Venezuela, but there are few, if any, of these where less is 
known of certain issues which are mentioned by historians and where ex- 
amples are unknown in collections. 

The monetary history of Venezuela during all but the last few years of 
Spanish domination is simple. There was one large remittance of silver 
coin minted in Spain, but further exportation of Spanish coins was later 
prohibited. This Spanish money was soon decreased in amount by wear, 
loss and exportation, and the currency situation soon became very difficult. 
Gold dust and pearls became established media of exchange. Fine pearls 
were accepted at the rate one ounce to the ounce of gold, and ordinary 
pearls at the rate one ounce for an ounce of silver, or one Spanish peso. 
After a time the irregular coinages made in Mexico and other American 
mints were introduced and entered readily into circulation. In the latter 
part of the eighteenth century retail merchants in Caracas, and probably in 
other places also, made tokens of lead, copper, and brass, but they were 
received in exchange only by the firms that issued them, and thus were not 
a satisfactory solution for the scarcity of small change. 

The first mint officially established in Venezuela was in November, 1802, 
at Caracas. Landaeta Resales states that there were coined at this mint in 
1802, 1804, 1805 and 1809, pieces of % real and 14 real, in copper. These 
were of the well-known type used from 1813 to 1821, the design on the 
obverse being a part of the coat of arms of the city of Caracas, a lion re- 
gardant, holding the Cross of Santiago surrounded by an elipse of dots, a 
royal crown surmounting the arms, which were enclosed in a cartouche of 
branches united at the bottom. The ^A real pieces of this first issue are 
extremely scarce. The reverse design was composed of a monogram of the 
consonants of the word "Venezuela." The fraction designating the denomi- 
nation was below the monogram. 

The first open opposition to the Spanish authority was in Caracas on the 
19th of April, 1810. The first issue of money by the revolutionists was of 
paper. The bills were of the denominations of 8, 4, 2 and 1 pesos, with 
a card valued at 2 reales. They bore the date of 1811 and also the word- 
ing "Ano 1 de la Republica" ("First year of the Republic"). Some of 
these bills bore autographic signatures of the issuing committee, while in 
others the signatures are printed. 

The first coinage by the republican forces bore the date of 1812. Ven- 
ezuelan writers on numismatics quote a. law passed by the Supreme Congress 
in 1811 providing for a large coinage of copper pieces in the denominations 
of y&, i/4, Vz and 1 real. The design of the obverse was to show a condor 
above the Pillars of Hercules, with the inscription, "America Libre." The 


reverse was to show the value and date. There seems to be no evidence 
that coins of this type were ever issued. In their place coins of the de- 
nomination of y B and y 2 real appeared in 1812. They must have been 
coined in the early part of that year, as Miranda surrendered the city to 
the Spanish forces in July, 1912. The obverse of these pieces is the design 
known in Venezuela as the "Sol de Abril" ("Sun of April"), which con- 
sists of the figures "19" in a circular field surrounded by radiating- rays. 
This design is a symbol of the 19th of April, of 1810, the day when open 
opposition to the Spanish regime began. 

There are silver pieces without date of % and 1 real which have for 
obverse the same design, 19 surrounded by the rays, and on the reverse 
the value in the center with the inscription around the border: "Ano 2 de 
L*a Republica" ("Second year of the Republic"). These pieces have been 
attributed by some cataloguers to the year 1821, they evidently thinking the 
figures "19" referred to 1819 and adding the two years. With the meaning 
of this design known and from the fact that the paper money issued in 
1811 bore the wording "First year of the republic" it can be assumed the 
2nd year was 1812. It is also known that Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, 
caused coins to be issued in silver, and it is stated that plate from the 
Cathedral was taken for this purpose. His action in taking the silver aroused 
great indignation among the more religious minded folk of Caracas, so 
much so that they said that the earthquake of 1812 came as a punishment 
for Bolivar's sacrilegious act. One Venezuelan writer on numismatics, Aris- 
tides Rojas, stated that coins of this type were coined by Bolivar, but of 
the Venezuelan writers others state that the types of these coins are not 

In 1813 when the Spanish forces were in power at Caracas the coinage 
of copper was again begun, of the same types as the ones coined in 1802. 
Quarter-real pieces were coined in 1813, 1814, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, and 
1821. Eighth-real pieces were coined in 1818, and possibly in other years, 
but, if so, are extremely rare. In some of the years, particularly in 1817, 
1818, 1819, and 1820, there were very many dies, showing that the issues 
were large. In classifying these pieces it is best to start by separating into 
groups by varieties in the crown, then these groups by variation in the 
bottom of the cartouch, and third by variation in tops of branches of the 
cartouch and their position with reference to the letters of the inscription. 
If Ferdinand VII possessed crowns of all the types represented on these 
cuartillas he must have had a very large assortment. In the cuartillas of 
1817 there are two major divisions, those wilh large date and letters and 
those with small date on the obverse. In the large type there are at least 
five varieties of obverse and, counting different combinations with reverse 
types, at least ten varieties. In the small-date type there are 25-plus varie- 
ties of obverse, and with different reverse 37-plus varieties. These 1817 
pieces vary in diameter from 22 to 25 1 /& millimeters. 

The greatest number of varieties seem to come with the 14 real of 1818, 
where there are 39-plus obverse dies and 53 varieties when different com- 
binations of reverse dies are counted. The year 1821 is not so prolific in 
varieties, only 10 obverse dies having been seen, with 19 varieties, counting 
reverse combinations. The dies in 1821 seem to have cruder engraving 
and many have the second "1" in the date retrograde. 

Due to shortage of currency a petition was made to the royalist govern- 
ment in Caracas in 1816 that silver pieces be also coined. This petition was 
granted, and in 1817 began the coinage of the pieces with the obverse de- 
sign comprising the Pillars of Hercules with the word "Caracas" below and 
with the motto "Plus Ultra" and the minter's initials, B. S., the figure of 
value in reales in the center above and the date between the pillars just 
above the line between the pillars and the name of the mint. The reverse 
shows the arms of Spain with figures of value above and below and "F" 
and "7" to left and right, respectively. The denominations were 1, 2 and 
4 reales. The first and last do not seem to have been coined every year 
and are scarce; the 2-real piece was coined in 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820 and 
1821, and are comparatively common. The initials B. S. are those of Bar- 
tplom< Salinas, the chief assayer. This issue of silver presents die varie- 
ties in profusion, as did the copper pieces of the same period. In the 2-real 
piece of 1818, 1819, 1820 and 1821 there are specimens with reversed 


quartering of the Spanish arms, i. e., castle-lion instead of lion-castle. In 
the piece of 1818 some dies have the initials of the assayer "S. B." instead 
of "B. S." There are at least 20 obverse dies of the 2-real of 1818, 11 of 
the 1819, 7 of the 1820, 4 of the 1820, 7 of 1821, on one of which "Carcas" 
instead of "Caracas" appears, and in this year, as in the copper pieces of 
the same year, the figures "1" in the dates are retrograde. In the 4-real 
piece of 1820 there are reversed arms as well as the normal type. In these 
pieces there are lines on the obverse below "Caracas*' representing the sea. 
As the war progressed and the end of the Spanish power approached the 
wave lines of these coins seem to indicate the progress of the struggle. In 
the pieces of 1817 the lines appear as smooth curves, but the sea seems to 
.get rougher and rougher until in the pieces it appears with rough and choppy 
waves. The Spanish operation of the mint at Caracas ended in 1821. 

The Republican government operated the mint in Caracas and coined 
silver ^-real pieces in 1821 and 1822. The obverse design consists of the 
date at the top, "VENEZ" across the middle of the field, and the fraction 
"^4" at the bottom. The reverse was the "19" surrounded by rays. The 
mint was again operated in 1829 and 18.30 to coin %-real pieces of the- 
cornucopia "C^S" type. Some Venezuelan writers also state that pesetas- 
(2-real) pieces were coined at this mint in 1830, but as they were unsatis-- 
factory their coinage was suspended. 

In The Numismatist several years ago there was printed an inquiry in 
which it was asked why some of the Caracas pieces were coined with the 
rosettes at the sides of the Spanish coat of arms instead of the "F 7." This 
inquiry cannot be answered by the writer, but, fortunately, one of the pieces 
in his collection gives a little light on this question. This piece is counter- 
stamped over another coin and the underlying coin is a Spanish peseta of 
the Constitutional variety which was first issued in Spain in 1821. While 
the overstamp bears the date of 1818 it is evident that the overstamping 
could not have been before 1821. It was thus finished after the Spanish 
operation of the Caracas mint and must have been made by the republican 
authorities. It may be mentioned that there seem to have been during the 
reign of Ferdinand VII two shades of opinion among the colonists in 
America. One party, if it can be called such, was in favor of separation 
from Spain, but pretended that it was desirable that Ferdinand VII con- 
tinue as titular head of the colony. Another party desired continuation of 
the union with Spain, but were anything but fervent in their admiration of 
Ferdinand VII. Whether this situation had anything to do with the issuing 
of this piece is unknown to the writer. Another explanation may be that 
at the time they were made no engraver was at hand to make new dies and 
that old dies found in the mint were utilized with the modification men- 
tioned. It may be that they were the unsatisfactory pesetas coined in 1830 
mentioned above. 

When these pieces are examined carefully it will be found that at least 
fifty per cent, were countermarked over other coins. Where the under- 
lying can be identified it will be seen that they were of coins from Spanish 
and not from Spanish-American mints. It would thus appear that an effort 
was being made to retire strictly Spanish coins from circulation. During 
the period of the scarcity of currency in Venezuela quantities of piasters 
from Spain were introduced, and as they were of lighter weight than the 
2-real pieces of Spanish-American mints they drove the heavier pieces from 
the country. Their use was considered unsatisfactory and confusing. These 
pesetas without the "F 7" are all of the date of 1818. 

During 1923 a jeweler of Caracas purchased a hoard of old silver coins, 
which, from English and French coins found in it, was probably laid aside 
about 1850. This lot contained over 1500 silver ^4 -real pieces. There 
were 676 of the 1829 coinage and 672 of the coinage of 1830. There were 
154 of these two years so badly worn that the date was undistinguishable. 
There were only three or four of the 1821-1822 issue, showing that by 1850 
or thereabouts the earlier pieces had about disappeared from circulation. 
About half of the 1829 coins were examined and 61 distinct varieties of ob- 
verse dies were found. The remaining pieces of 1829 and all of 1830 are 
awaiting examination. The Caracas mint must have been a busy place 


during 1829-1830 or else the dies must have been cut in soft metal, needing 
early replacement. 

During part of the period when the mint at Caracas was issuing the pieces 
above mentioned there was coinage at other places in "Venezuela. In the 
extreme eastern part of the country the Spanish rule was relatively less 
disturbed than in the sections nearer to Caracas. Frequently cut off from 
the rest of the country through revolutionary activities, the government 
of this section issued its own provisional coinage from 1813 to 1817. The 
obverse design showed a castle, with the inscription: "F. VII. Provincia de 
Gvaiana." The reverse showed the castle with the fraction indicating the 
value. Of the size of the ^4 -real pieces issued at Caracas, these Guaiana 
pieces are most frequently marked y 2 . There are, however, pieces of the 
same size and design with the fraction ^4 - At the time the Spanish forces 
at their last stronghold capitulated to the republican forces they had there 
a large stock of these copper pieces. As they would have no value at any 
place, the boxes containing them were emptied by dumping the coins on 
the slopes of the hill, and even now the children who may be playing on 
the hill at Barrancas pick them up as playthings. A gentleman about ten. 
years ago asked some children to find some for him and in a short time 
they brought him nearly a hundred, all badly corroded of course. An ex- 
amination of these pieces shows that the issue was a.s rich in die varieties 
as the issues being made at Caracas at the same time. 

Other places of coinage mentioned by Manuel Landaeta Rosales in an 
article published in "El Universal," of Caracas, April 5, 1912, are: 

Maracaibo, in 1813, by the royalists, in copper and silver, the denomina- 
tions unknown. 

Merida, in 1813, by the royalists, in silver, the denomination unknown. 

Margarita issued coins in 1816, by patriots, of the value of y 2 real. The 
coins were believed to have been made abroad. 

Mention has been made of an issue at Barcelona during this period, but 
no further particulars are available. 

General Jose Antonio Paez issued base silver coins in Apure in 1817. 

Vidal y Quadras, in his catalog, mentions a piece attributed by him to 
Valencia, Venezuela, but this issue is not mentioned by Venezuelan writers. 

Of all these issues accurate descriptions are lacking and specimens authen- 
tically attributed are extremely rare or unknown. In addition, references 
are made to the coinage of silver 1-real pieces in Caracas by the republicans 
in 1813. It will be seen that there is still a field for study. 

There is some information available regarding the issue made by General 
Paez. In his autobiography that general states: 

"There we found ourselves in the greatest misery. To camp all those 
people who had placed themselves under my protection we had to con- 
struct houses, since the rainy season was approaching, and as the emi- 
grants were accustomed to the comforts of city life it was necessary to 
provide them with some shelter. Also there were among them many 
helpless through age and illness without counting the women and child- 
ren. I then issued a decree ordering that the immigrants deliver to me 
all the silver that they possessed, to be returned to them coined and 
stamped, and just there a silversmith of Barinas, named Juan de Jesus 
Anzola, made a die and converted into money all the metal that those 
citizens brought with them when they were obliged to leave their 

This issue of money by Paez did not meet with the approval of Simon 
Bolivar, the Supreme Commander, as he issued next year the following- 

"Simon Bolivar, Supreme Chief, etc., Having ended the critical and 
extraordinary circumstances in which General Paez, deprived of re- 
sources in the Province of Barinas, isolated and without conventional 
medium of exchange for business, was obliged to coin money with the 
design, although very imperfect, of the macuquina which caused the 
fall of the Government of Venezuela in the second epoch of the re- 
public, and desiring to avoid the circulation of a money that can be 
easily counterfeited and with which the country would be flooded, also 
as it lacks the weight and fineness necessary, has seen well to decree, 
and decrees the following: 


"Article 1. The money coined in the Province of Barinas shall not 
circulate in the other Provinces of the Republic due to the fact that it 
lacks the fineness, the weight, and perfection of design. 

"Article 2. In that province as well as in the others of the Republic 
circulation is prohibited of other money besides the gold and silver 
with milled edge, the macuquina of the old Spanish usage, and the 
macuquina coined in Caracas in the second epoch of the Republic. 

"Article 3. In spite of the dispositions of the preceding article, and 
in benefit of the credit of the Province of Barinas, and to avoid the 
losses to individuals who possess the money mentioned in Article 1, 
this money will circulate within that Province until it is redeemed by 
the Government. 

"Let it be published, affixed and circulated to the authorities con- 
cerned, and inserted in the Gazette. Headquarters at Angostura, June 
18, 1818. BOLIVAR." 

The Supreme Chief was not the only one that did not approve of this 
coinage at Barinas. The following extract from a private letter of the time, 
written from Achaguas, may be of interest: 

"There was a mint here, and in Caujaral also, as I have said to you 
before. That Paez circulated an order that all these Inhabitants should 
present all the Gothic (Spanish) money that they possessed to manu- 
facture it anew in the models of the fatherland, and that it should cir- 
culate instead of that of the Republic. This intimation was accom- 
panied by some threats by way of persuasion, such as shooting the diso- 
bedient or other similar bagatelle. Pear and the hope of receiving 
again, as they offered, free silver instead of depressed silver, made the 
greater part of these simple folk untie the nots of their bundles and 
deliver the emblems of Gothism to the director of the establishment, 
who would be, to say the least, some member not unimportant of the 
government of Apure. So it was that they gathered in much, and in 
effect they coined much, thanks to the lead, the copper and other min- 
erals, and to our unfortunate lenders they left them without Gothic or 
Republican silver, neither gave them bad or good expectations, nor have 
they again spoken to them of this matter up to this time, in spite of 
their reclamations. I send you a sample of the money, so that you can 
make public to your friends, and they may see how there is a cross, 
columns and castles, or things that look like them, hieroglyphics which 
certainly not very republican. Each one of these coins is worth two 
reales in the empire of Paez, but two inches outside of there is does not 
circulate. And in the truth that the coin has a 2 on each, yet in addi- 
tion to being a mixture of a half dozen metals fourteen weigh an ounce. 
The inventor of this method of making money will not be weary from 
his invention, nor will the strangers who come to Guayana on the fame 
of the riches which they offer them until they rob them, when they 
find themselves paid from time to time with a few coins which no 
physicist will know in which branch of mineralogy he should classify 

General Bolivar in 1919 despatched Captain Bolivar with clothing and 
money to relieve suffering in Barinas. The following is found in O'Leary's 
work with reference to this in a note from General Soublette to General 

It has occurred to me later to make to Your Excellency the following 
observation: If the fifty thousand pesos which Captain Bolivar is taking 
are in money coined in Maracaibo and generaly called "Lanza," his 
taking them is useless, because they do not circulate in the Province 
of Barinas, where they have always been rejected. There the only 
money which circulates is that coined by General Paez, and called 
Yagual, the old coinage of Caracas, and very little of that coined in 

The collector of the above extracts which I have translated, Manuel Lan- 
daeta Rosales, had a representative collection of Venezuelan coins and 


medals, but it was not preserved. It has been stated that his silver pieces 
were sold by weight to a silversmith for melting. 

The history of the older Venezuelan coinage comes to a close with the 
coinage of 1830, No further coinage was made in Venezuela until 1886. 
At this place I will mention a copper piece obtained from a silversmith in 
Caracas in 1912 among a lot of common coppers. It is of thin copper 29mm. 
in diameter. The principal design is a canoe with two men paddling and 
one steering. Around the edge is the inscription: "Margarita Per la Pre- 
closa." The reverse has the inscription around the rim: "D. F. DIA 4 DE 
MAIO 1810." In a ring of seven stars there is the figure "4." The island 
of Margarita was the center of insurrectionary feeling against Spain. The 
date on the coin would be shortly after news would reach there of the in- 
dependence movement in Caracas on April 19, 1810. The piece may have 
been a medal, but from its size, about that of the Spanish 4-maravedi piece, 
and the fact that the numeral "4" appears on it, it seems possible that this 
coin was one of the first issued by the patriots in Venezuela. 

The later coinage of Venezuela shows evidence of the machine age. Cop- 
per was coined abroad in 1843, 1852, 1858, 1862 and 1863. Those for 1843 
were designed by Wyon and bore initials W. W. below the head. Those of 
1852 were in two sizes. Those of 1858 and later bear the name: "Heaton" 
on the truncation of the neck. In 1858 there was an importation of silver 
coins of the values of 5, 2, 1 and V 2 reales. There is a curious error on 
the smaller piece where the die sinker has engraved the fraction 1 y 2 in- 
stead of %. 

In 1863 General Jose Antonio Paez was President of Venezuela, the same 
man who had issued the coinage in Barinas in 1817. He ordered in Europe 
a coinage in large quantities in. the denominations of 10, 4, 2, 1 and % 
reales in silver, and 2 and 1 centavos in copper. The costs were to be paid 
when the coins arrived in Venezuela. The coinage was duly shipped and 
the steamer bearing it arrived at La Guaira, but by that time the govern- 
ment of Paez had fallen and his political enemies were in power. As one 
Venezuelan author states, the new government refused to pay the bills, so 
the coinage was again taken to Europe by the same steamer. The coins 
bore the bust of Paez, and no doubt that influenced the new government in 
its decision. These coins occasionally come on the market called "essays," 
but that is hardly the proper word to use where the pieces were actually 
coined for circulation. 

A new design for silver coins was adopted in 1873, with sizes, weights 
and fineness that of the Latin Monetary Union. This design continues until 
the present time, with the exception that in 1873, 1874 and 1876 pieces of 
the weight of half a five-franc piece were made instead of the 2-franc size. 

Coinage of gold for Venezuela began with a 5-boliviano piece in 1875. 
This was the only year in which this denomination was coined. It was 
equivalent to 25 francs. The gold coins authorized later have been pieces 
of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 bolivars, but of these only pieces of 100 and 20 
bolivares have been made for general circulation, though a few of the other 
denominations have been coined as essays. In 1931, to commemorate the 
one hundredth anniversary of the death of Simon Bolivar, many pieces of 
the 10 bolivares denomination were made. The gold coins are similar to 
the silver pieces in design, with the exception that the head of Bolivar faces 
left instead of to the right. The 100-bolivares piece was coined only for 
four years from 1886 to 1889, in a mint established at Caracas and in opera- 
tion only during those four years. The 100-bolivar pieces, as well as the 
20-bolivares pieces made in the same years, were coined from a particularly 
soft gold and have disappeared from circulation through the activities of 
Venezuelan dentists, who have found in them the best available supply of 
material for their work. The 5 bolivianos pieces are generally found dis- 
colored with purple ink placed there by bankers in order to readily distin- 
guish them from the lighter 20-bolivares pieces of the same diameter. 

Besides what might be termed the official currency of Venezuela, the 
circulating medium has been increased by many issues of store cards, and 
about every large hacienda issued tokens of various sizes and shapes for 
the payment of their laborers and for use in hacienda stores. 

There have also been several issues for the leper colony on Providencia 
Island near Maracaibo. Merchants also cut centavos into halves and quart- 
ers to make small change. 



Arnold Perpall 

It seems to be the opportunity, possibly the duty of science to reduce 
things to simplicity, and in the field of numismatic research many dis- 
coveries result indirectly from trial and error. This observer suggests 
more of the trial and less of the error of premature conclusion. As New 
York at this time appears to be the center of interest in Hispano-Amer- 
iean numismatics, he feels -impelled to initiate further investigation into 
the case of the coins attributed to Mendoza (City and Province, The 
Argentine). This attribution of the specimens illustrated herewith is 
generally accepted in this vicinity and the group includes all the known 
and available pieces, some indication at least of their scarcity ; occasional 
pre-war sales in Europe not only gave them to Mendoza but also de- 
scribed them as of the greatest rarity. Further detailed discussion of 
the coins is now omitted purposely as the pictures should quite suffice. 

Solely from the material evidence it is reasonable to assume the valid- 
ity of the coinage, as we have here the %, 1, 2 and 4 reales denomina- 
tions in silver with varieties all linked together by one or more elements 
in the design, convincingly indicating a common place of origination. 

However there is lacking and now needed the evidence and authority 
of actual documentation, preferably of a contemporary nature (1823-24). 
It is the hope that as the result of this presentation, some students of 
Argentine history will appreciate the advantage of cooperative research 
and graciously contribute any missing information they may have, par- 
ticularly from among those collectors in the Argentine itself, who no 
doubt are in the best position to supply the necessary confirmation. 
^Taullard," "Rosa" and "Medina" lend encouragement but _ not con- 
viction to this writer, which perhaps may be from the difficulties of in- 
terpretation, definition as well as from the lack of illustrations. 

Should sufficient additional information be forthcoming in response 
to this article, it may be assumed that a further article in summation 
will follow in due course, the whole to constitute an adequate permanent 
record of the last serious issue of the cob coinage of the Colonial Amer- 
ican Era. 

Historically there is a peculiar combination of circumstance as to 
Mendoza, sometimes called the "Valley Forge of South American In- 
dependence, 7 ' and it is difficult to reconcile the fact that the Liberator 
San Martin passed through there about the year of 1810 with the mint- 
age of 1823 now the subject of discussion, the design of which perpetu- 
ated the Pillars of Hercules and the Royalist Coat of Arms. 

This attempt at pooling knowledge for the benefit of all is frankly 
an experiment and the result is anticipated with interest and some 
curiosity. If possible the case should be proven beyond question, but 
in any event each student or collector may be free to draw his own 
conclusion on any point lacking in proof. 










Chas. A. Baumann 

(A paper presented to the Cincinnati Convention of the A. N. A.) 

The large variety of countermarks in Brazil's currency, calls for a closer 
examination; I have divided them into 4 distinct groups: 

A) Countermarks on foreign coins for legal circulation in the country, 

B) Countermarks on coins already circulating in the country, 

C) Private countermarks on Brazilian Coins, 

B) Foreign Countermarks on Brazilian Coins for circulation in other 

A) Countermarks on foreign coins for legal circulation in the country: 

Brazil was discovered and annexed by Portugal in 1500, since which time 
Portuguese money circulated in the colony, until the occupation of Portugal 
by Spain in 1580, when Spanish currency also found its way to Brazil. 

After Portugal had shaken off the Spanish yoke in 1640 King John IV, 
"The Restorer," (1640-1656), found himself at war with Spain on the Euro- 
pean Continent, while overseas he was also at war with the Netherlands. 

The financing of these wars caused the King much difficulty, and he was 
forced to raise the value of the currency in order to meet part of the ex- 

Considering the large amount of silver coins in circulation and the im- 
possibility of withdrawing all from circulation and recoining them, a Royal 
Decree in 1642 ordered the value of the Testoon (100 reis) 4 Vintens (80 
reis), Half-Testoon (50 reis) & 2 Vintens (40 reis) to be raised by 20% by 
counterstamping the coins with a small number 120, 100, 60 and 50 re- 
spectively in a small circle. 

These coins, countermarked in Portugal in 1642 also circulated in the 
Colony of Brazil, however with a further increase in their value. 

The considerable export of the Spanish silver coins (Patacas & Half- 
Patacas) was causing great concern to the Portuguese Government, and in 
order to put a stop to this trade it was decreed in 1643 that the value of 
these coins (1 Pataca = 8 Reales Spanish = 320 reis Portuguese, and y 2 
Pataca = 160 reis) should be raised by 50% to 480 and 240 reis by means 
of a countermark with these new values below a small Royal crown. The 
profit on this transaction was to be divided in equal parts between the Gov- 
ernment and the owners of the money. This process was also applied to the 
2 Reales pieces, although they were not expressly mentioned in the decree. 

The countermarking was not only effected in Portugal and some of the 
other Portuguese colonies, but also by the Brazilian Assay-Offices in Bahia, 
Rio de Janeiro and Maranhao. 

A large amount partly of spurious coins and partly of coins with lack of 
the requisite fineness found their way from Peru to Brazil, and so^ great be- 
came the nuisance that the King by a Royal Edict in 1651 prohibited the 
further circulation of all Peruvian Patacas, including the old genuine coins, 
and ordered all without exception to be sent to Lisbon. 

As this order would cause serious difficulties to the people in the colony 
who would have to wait for many months until they received their new money 
from Portugal, the Governor General of Brazil decided that the Patacas 
which after examination were found to be genuine should be countermarked 
with a stamp similar to that of 1643, and then enter again into circulation. 

During the reign of King John's successor, Affonso VI, (1656-1667), we 
find another countermark on the Portuguese coins. 

A Decree in 1662 ordered the value of the gold coins to be raised, so that 
the 4 cruzados, until then worth 3500 reis should be valued at 4000 reis 
and those o. 2 and 1 cruzados accordingly, by affixing a countermark of 4, 
2, or 1 below a small crown. 

These gold coins also circulated in Brazil. 


The continuous wars which Portugal was leading continually increased 
the expenditure of the country and as a further protection against silver 
flowing out of the country, a new law in 1663 decreed a further rise of 25%. 
Thus the Patacas, already valued at 480 reis, were raised to 600 reis and the 
smaller denominations in proportion. 

The countermark consisted in a small crown over the figures with the 
new values, and was affixed in the Brazilian establishments (Officinas) of 
Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Villa de Olinda in the Province of Pernambuco and 
San Vicente in the Province of San Paulo. 

According to a table received from the Director of the Numismatic Section 
of the National Historic Museum, Rio de Janeiro, the following were the 
crowned countermarks affixed in Brazil: 

On Spanish coins, 600, 300, 150, 75, on Portuguese coins 500 250 200 
150, 100, 75, 120 and 60 (Fig. 1)* 

Pig. 1. 

In the course of 1667 D. Affonso was made a prisoner by his brother D. 
Pedro (1667-1706) who during the first 16 years, until the death of his 
brother, ruled with the title of Prince Regent. 

This prince, with the object of putting a stop to the sweating and clipping 
of gold and silver coins, in 1688 decreed currency reforms. This decree 
was in 1694 followed by another one, creating in the "State" of Brazil, as 
the colony was termed in official documents, a mint entrusted with the 
coining of the colony's own currency, but prohibiting an export of same. 

The first mint started work in 1695 in Bahia and later on other mints 
were opened, who hand in hand with the Royal mint in Lisbon coined money, 
both of the National (Portuguese) and Colonial (Brazilian) type. 

Weight, fineness and value underwent several changes during the next 
century, but during all this time no countermarking took place. 

The 18th century was the Gold Century of Brazil; during the reign of 
King John V (1706-1750) 15 varieties of gold coins circulated in Brazil 
against only 4 in silver! 

By the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century the output of 
:gold had been greatly decreased and whereas now only 2 gold coins (6400 
and 4000 reis) were in circulation, enormous amounts of Spanish Silver 
Pesos were circulating in the interior. 

In order to legalize this circulation an Edict of 1st September, 1808 
ordered these Pesos to be countermarked by the Assay Offices in Villa Rica, 
Province of Minas Geraes, on both sides, on the Obverse with the Royal Arms 
of Portugal and the value (960), and on the Reverse with a small sphere 
with or without the mintmark M (Minas Geraes). (Fig. 8). 

The same countermarks were affixed on Spanish Pesos in the Province of 
San Paulo with the mintmark P on the Reverse, while the Province of Matto 

* These ng-ure'S refer to illustrations of coins- in my book "Numismatica Brasil- 
eira" of which the A. N. A. has a copy in its library. 


Grosso affixed a similar mark, but with the name of the province MATO 
GROSSO on the Obverse. 

In 1810 a general re-coinage of this money was decreed. 

There are also some Spanish Pesos with the era 1820 and 1821 in ex- 
istence with the above countermark and also with the mark C or GUY. 
(Cuyaba, capital of the Province of Matto Grosso), a proof that in those 
years the Spanish Peso was still legal currency in that distant province. 

Fig. S. 

B) Countermarks on coins already circulating in the country. 

The countermarks affixed to coins circulating in Brazil had in their ma- 
jority the object of legally raising, reducing or fixing a new value for the 
respective piece, while other countermarks were affixed illegally. 

1) A Decree in 1809 ordered a small countermark of the Portuguese 
Arms, (commonly called the "Escudete") to be affixed to the old copper 
coins of 40, 20 and 10 reis (valued at 5 reis the oitava, - 1 oitava 3% 
grammes) which had double the weight of the new ones coined in Lisbon 
(valued at 10 reis the oitava) in order to double their value to 80, 40 and 
20 reis. The silver coins of 600, 300, 150 and 75 reis struck during the 
reign of Joseph I for the gold districts of Minas Geraes (at 7600 reis per 
Marco = 229% grammes) were by means of the same countermark raised 
to the values of 640, 320, 160 and 80 reis (9192 reis per Marco). 

When King John VI in 1821 returned to Portugal (whence he had fled 
from Napoleon in 1808) he left the colony in a miserable financial condition. 

Whilst during the 13 years of the Court's sojourn in Brazil (1809 to 
1821) about 9.161.000 milreis in gold, 13.215.000 milreis in silver (includ- 
ing the re-coined Spanish Pesos) (law of 23rd May 1810), 1.004.000 milreis 
in copper were coined, and during the following 6 years of the independent 
Empire (1822 to 1827) about 549.000 milreis in gold, 2.748.000 milreis in 
silver, 3.515.000 milreis in copper; only about 10.000 milreis in gold, 1.000 
milreis in silver, and 8.610.000 milreis in copper were struck during the 
next 3 years (1828-1830). 

During these 3 periods the circulation of paper money amounted to 
8.071.000 milreis, 77.403.000 milreis and 62.213.000 milreis respectively. 

These figures are an undoubted proof of the great modification in Bra- 
zilian currency, in which copper had previously only filled the subordinate 
place of a subsidiary coin. 

Gold and silver had disappeared completely from circulation, their places 
being taken by copper. But in spite of the large quantities struck, these 
coins were already at a premium, because the population in spite of its 
weight preferred copper to the notes of the Bank of Brazil which offered no 
guarantee of any value. Copper was hoarded. 

In the year 1830 the premium on copper coins reached 50%! 

Besides the genuine coins large amounts of spurious copper coins (manu- 
factured in the country and abroad) were circulating, as is clearly proved 
by the repeated, but always ineffective legislative measures taken during 
1832 and 1833. 


In order to effectively remedy the confusion in the Brazilian monetary 
system, Government by law of October 3rd, 1883 offered bearers of copper 
money the "facility" of exchanging the genuine coins for paper money during 
the next two months, whereas all money recognized to be spurious was to 
be cut and then returned to its owner. 

The execution of this "facility" law met with great difficulties, partly on 
account of the scarcity of small coins for the daily necessities, partly on ac- 
count of speculation which immediately sprang up and partly on account 
of the deficiencies in the application of the law itself. 

Many measures were suggested, such as the withdrawal of every copper 
coin in circulation and the subsequent issue of new coins at half the value 
of the old ones, and others, but none seemed satisfactory. 

The shortage of copper coins continued and caused several provinces to 
take their own measures, in order to meet the demands of the population. 

2) Thus the Province of CearS, in view of the lack of small change was 
authorized by its President (illegally) to re-issue the copper coins already 
withdrawn from circulation in compliance with the law of October 3rd 1833, 
but with the restriction that same should only circulate for half of the 

Fig. IS. 

former value. For this purpose the coins were to receive the countermark 
of a five-pointed star, bearing in each point one letter of the name of the 
Province C. E. A. R. A. (Fig, 13) 

The total issue did not exceed 48.000 milreis. 

A Decree of November, 1834 ordered this illegal countermarking to cease 
until the General Legislative Assembly had taken a decision in this matter. 

This mark is also found on a few silver coins, but no explanation had 
been forthcoming; it may have been affixed by mistake. 

3) The President of the Province of Maranhao for similar reasons, issued 
provisional notes as well as authorizing the re-issue of copper coins already 
out of circulation, for the fourth part of their original value. These coins 
were to be identified by the countermark of a small M above the new value 
of XX, X or V on the Obverse. (Fig. 14). 

4) In the following year (1835) the President re-issued a further lot of 
copper coins, this time for half of their former value (for what reason this 
change was made is not known) by affixing a large M on the Reverse. (Fig. 

The total issue of these 2 countermarks was about 200.000 milreis. 
The Central Government also disapproved these illegal acts. 

5) Besides issuing notes, the Province of Para, authorised by their Gov- 
ernor's Decision of January- 14th, 1835, countermarked the 80 and 40 reis 
copper coins of the Province of Matto Grosso (already withdrawn) and re- 
issued them for the fourth part of their original value; the mark affixed was 
the new value 20 or 10 in a small circle. The rather carelessly executed 
punches of 20 and 10 seen on many coins are attributed to the Province of 
Para, and not to the Central Government as mentioned hereafter. 


6) All these illegal proceedings induced the Central Government to give 
the Legislative Assembly a detailed exposition of the financial situation 
of the country, asking for urgent measures against an evil which the above- 
mentioned law of 3rd October, 1833 had been unable to cope with. 

After long debates a law of 6th October 1835 was promulgated, cancelling 
the "facility" law of 1833 and making the surrender of all copper coins 

All coins found to be genuine were to be paid to the owner, less 5 % for 
the Imperial Treasury, in notes or in copper coins reduced in value and 
-countermarked accordingly. 

Fig. 14. 

The reduction was to be 50% on coins struck in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, 
and 75% on those of Goyaz and Matto Grosso. The coins issued in San 
Paulo and those of Minas Geraes of 75 and 37% reis were to be definitely 
withdrawn from circulation. 

The countermark to be affixed was a small circle with the new value of 
40, 20 or 10 in small figures in the centre. 

Fig. 15. 

The variety of these countermarks is enormous; all over Brazil this mark: 
was affixed and the punches made in the various Government offices all over 
the extensive territory varied greatly in every respect, size, shape, neatness, 
etc. as will be observed by comparing one with the other. The badly executed 
punches are however attributed to the Province of Para, as I already said. 

As soon as the new countermarks appeared, abuses also began. Forged 
countermarks were affixed and the abuses went as far as affixing counter- 


marks even to small copper discs, which had no characteristic of a coin at 
all, but were taken by a greatly illiterate population! 

An Imperial Decree No. 59 of 8th October 1833 raised the value of gold 
to 2500 reis per oitava and silver in proportion; no mention was made of 
copper circulating in the country; this continued as legal tender with said 
countermarks until the first bronze coins were put into circulation in 1868, 
and even for many years after. 

Fig. 16. 

Fig. 17. 

7) The law of 6th October 1835 could not be complied with in the 
Province of Rio Grande do Sul in consequence of the outbreak of a revolu- 
tion in that province, known as the "Guerra Farroupilha" (war of the rags) 
which lasted until 1845. 

The rebels named their new republic "Republica Piratini" and money of 
any metal circulating in the towns and villages in their hands was punched 
with an oval countermark with the arms of the new republic: 2 joined hands 
holding a sword, some with the date of the outbreak, 20.7. (September) 
1835, others with the name, PIRANTI. (Fig. 16) 

8) At the end of the reign of Emperor Peter I (1822-1831), a revolution- 
ary outbreak took place in the Province of Ceara, between 1829 and 1831, 
in the region of the small town of Ic6. The rebels affixed a small counter- 
mark, bearing the name ICO crossed by a horizontal line in an oblong, to 
the 80, 40 and 20 reis pieces, in circulation in that part of the province. 
(Fig. 17) 

C) Private Countermarks on Brazilian Coins: 

The number and variety of countermarks on Brazilian coins is legion. 

Nothing or little is known regarding the reasons for affixing these counter- 
marks, partly of Brazilian, partly of foreign origin, or punched by foreigners 
living in the country. 

It may however be assumed that on account of the great shortage of 
small change during the first 37 years of the second Empire (it was only 
in 1868 that the 10 and 20 reis pieces in bronze came into circulation), 
commerce had recourse to the method of countermarking copper coins with 
conventional signs or imaginary values, which were passed on to their clients 
as change, and accepted by the public in general without protest. 

For the greater part the countermarks consisted in capital letters (perhaps 
a firm's initials?) or letters in conjunction with figures or other signs, prob- 
ably intended to fix the value of the coin in transactions with that special 

Other countermarks may have had the object of commercial propaganda 
and still others suggest religious motives, such as the symbol of eyes of 
Santa Luzia, or of the Holv Heart, or of the Divine Holy Spirit, and others 


D) Foreign Countermarks on Brazilian Coins for circulation in other 
countries : 

TTiese countermarks, strictly speaking, no longer belong to the Brazilian 
coinage, but their study is interesting. 

1) The countermarking of Brazilian coins by other countries was a wide- 
spread custom in the 18th century, especially in the European Colonies in 
the West Indies, as well as in some of the Central American countries. 

In all the European possessions metal currency was restricted; the coinage 
in European countries for their overseas colonies was only on a small scale. 
Thus the islands belonging to Great Britain, Dominica, Grenada, Santa 
Lucia, San Vincent and others and British Guyana, the French islands of 
Guadeloupe, Martinique and others and French Guyana, the Dutch islands of 
Curacao, San Martin, St. Eustachia and others, the Danish islands of St. 
John, St. Thomas, St. Croix and others etc. extensively countermarked coins 
of other countries for circulation in their territories. 

Among the coins circulating in these countries gold and silver coins played 
a conspicuous part, but especially the gold coins, which according to old 
reports surpassed in quantity the gold coins of other sources that were 
countermarked in said countries. 

But then as already said, the 18th century was the century during which 
Brazil produced enormous quantities of gold. 

In the British "West Indian Colonies the larger part of Brazilian gold coins 
in circulation were the Brazilian Dobras (8 escudos) of John V, commonly 
called the "Joes" and the "Half-Joes" (4 escudos = 6400 reis). 

When the larger piece, the Dobra of 8 escudos was no longer coined in 
accordance with a Portuguese Law of 29th November 1732, prohibiting the 
coinage in Brazil, the "Half -Joe" of 6400 reis took its place. It became 
the principal coin in these colonies and just went by the name of "Joe", 
instead of Half-Joe. 

Robert Chalmers in his book "A History of Currency in the British 
Colonies" writes: 

"The characteristic feature of the Windward Islands was the prevalence 
of the Portuguese Johannes as the standard coin. The underrating of 
this coin at $8 (Spanish Patacas) led to the circulation of light Joes, 
the malpractice of clipping, sweating, etc." 

Owing to the frequent clipping and sweating of the Joe and Half-Joe the 
legal weight was greatly reduced, and often lost as much as 25%, so that 
many colonies would only accept the money in payment at its actual weight. 
In order to give these coins the legal weight established in various coun- 
tries an additional piece of gold was often fixed on to the centre of such a 
coin, thereby raising the weight to the legal or standard weight. 

Naturally adulterations of these so-called "plugs" were the order of the 

Chalmers in his book says: 

"When a coin which had been clipped, was raised again to the standard 
weight, the additional gold, fixed on to the clipped coin, was called the 
'plug,' and the result was a 'plugged gold coin.' Needless to say the 
plugs were frequently adulterated. The coin most commonly plugged 
was the 'Joe'." 

In view of the extensive circulation of the "Joe" in the West Indies, a 
large number of spurious money, imitating this coin (as well as others), was 
manufactured in America and England, where these unscrupulous people 
also manufactured plugs of base metal. 
I again quote Chalmers: 

"In consequence of the introduction of base Half -Joes from England 
and America silver was carried out of the colonies to America and noth- 
ing was to be seen but this base and sweated coin. To such a pitch had 
this evil got that it was difficult for the inhabitants to obtain change. 
In some islands an Act of the Legislature was passed; in others an 
association was entered into, which had a similar effect; in all they 
fixed a standard weight for themselves. And to make the Half-Joe 
current ach island had a stamp for itself, and after a certain quantity 
was stamped, they would allow no more." 
E. Zay, in his book "Histoire Mon<taire des Colonies Francaises" in detail 


refers to the countermarking and plugging of Brazilian and other coins in 
the French possessions. 

The "Revista Numismatica/' official publication of the S. N. B., (Sociedade 
Brasileira, Sao Paulo, Brazil), in its number 1 of 1938 gives a list of more 
than 150 countermarks on coins of various metals which circulated in said 
colonies, with indications of the countries in which they circulated after 
having been punched. Some consisted in 1, 2 or 3 letters, separate or mono- 
grams, just punched on the coins or in a circle, a square, an octagon etc. 

Other countermarks, such as an eagle, keys, hearts, heads, a sun or a 
twelve-pointed star, etc. or numbers, or a combination of the two, such as 
the numbers 20 or 22 under an eagle with spread wings (Martinique) etc. 
are frequently encountered. 

On the other hand other colonies, instead of countermarking the coins 
holed them in the middle, taking out fragments in different shapes, hexa- 
gonal, octagonal, round, heart-shaped etc. 

2) After Brazil had made itself independent in 1822, the country no long- 
er had recourse to the countermarking of foreign moneys. 

On the contrary, now it was Portugal, who in order to alleviate the scarcity 
of its circulating medium, by law of 14th July 1847 authorized the circula- 
tion in the country of the Gold Pecas of 6400 reis of the Empire of Brazil, 
weighing 4 oitavas at the fixed value of 8000 reis Portuguese currency. 

Another law, of 21st of the same month, extended a similar facility to 
the Brazilian gold coins of the colonial period of 4000 reis coined from 1749 
to 1822 in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Lisbon without mintmark, of 12.800 
reis coined from 1727 to 1733 in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia or Minas Geraes 
with the mintmarks R, B, or M, and finally of 24000 reis struck from 1724 
to 1727 in Minas Geraes with the mintmark M, with the restriction that this 
latter coin should be countermarked in the Lisbon Mint with the crowned 
Royal Portuguese Arms and then circulate in Portugal for 30000 reis. 

3) The Portuguese Government by law of 14th June 1871 decreed that 
the islands of the Azores should countermark with a small crown the 2$, 
1$, $500 and $200 silver coins of the Empire of Brazil which were already 
current in those islands and had full legal weight; after these formalities 
the coins were to be withdrawn from circulation and melted. This mark is 
sometimes also found on Brazilian coins of the colonial period. 

In spite of the precise terms of this law, it was apparently not obeyed 
and the coins not withdrawn from circulation? 

4) Then on March 4th 1887 a new decree ordered the countermarking of 
all foreign silver coins in the Azores, to be marked with a small G. P. 
(Governo Portuguez) below a small crown, and after this law had been 
complied with a further entry of foreign coins into the islands was not al- 
lowed. Thus the Imperial Brazilian silver coins of 2$, 1$, $500 and $200 
were again countermarked in those islands, as also were the old colonial 
silver coins of 960, 640, 600, 320 and 160 reis. 




Hugh Kelly 

Henry Christophe was born a slave 011 a French-owned plantation in the 
British West Indies in the year 1767. Nothing is known of his parents ex- 
cept that they were negro slaves brought from Africa. He was brought up 
like all slave children, without education. But at the age of 7 he was appren- 
ticed to the negro who followed the trade of stone mason on the plantation. 
He learned his trade very well, but at the age of 12 he ran away and was 
given refuge by the captain of a French sailing vessel. The ship sailed south 
and in the month of August, 1779, reached its destination Saint Domingue, 
as Haiti was then called. It put in at the port of Cap Haitien. The island 
at that time, particularly the western half, was owned by France and was 
considered a valuable possession. 

About that time Benjamin Franklin had visited France and had asked aid 
for the American colonies. Saint Domingue was asked to contribute 1,500 
men for the American Revolutionary War. A French fleet of twenty-four 
ships put into the harbor of Cap Haitien and Henry was sold to a young 
French officer as a general servant. The French ships sailed north and 
reached the mouth of the Savannah River on the coast of Georgia, lay at 
anchor through a month of rain, and again sailed south. The expedition had 
been a failure, except in the effect it had on the young negro slave. When 
Henry Christophe returned to Saint Domingue he carried with him vivid 
recollections. He heard the French soldiers and the American farmers talk 
of liberty, war and revolution. 

When the volunteers disbanded the French officer had no further use for 
Henry, so he was sold again, this time to a free negro at Cap Haitien, an inn- 
keeper named Coidovic. Henry was put to work as a stable boy and carried 
out his duties very well. In a few years Coidovic raised him to the position 
of waiter and billiard marker. Henry became very popular with trie guests 
at the cafe and by the time he had reached his 20s he had enough money 
saved to buy his freedom. This was a privilege made possible for a negro 
slave of Saint Domingue only by virtue of having a good master and enough 

When the Bastille was stormed in France in 1789 the fire of revolution 
spread through the colonies. The- cry went up "Liberty Equality Fra- 

The population of Saint Domingue at that time was 500,000 slaves, 24,000 
free mulattoes and 40,000 whites whose members were split in sharp divi- 
sions. Gradually the revolutionary spirit spread. August 22, 1793, was 
the signal for the outbreak. Over 600 coffee plantations and 200 sugar re- 
fineries were given to the flames. Hundreds of whites were dragged from 
hiding and put to death in the most horrible manner. Murder and execu- 
tion were the order of the day. A negro coachman named Toussaint 1'Ouver- 
ture, a leader of the rebellion, sought an honorable peace, but failed. The 
same year France went to war with England and Spain. Toussaint and other 
leaders crossed over into the Spanish half of the island and became generals 
in the Spanish army. And 1 to complete the treason the whites appealed to 
England for aid. A French Republican general tried to expel both invaders, 
but failed. But the negro general, Toussaint, soon realized that his life-long 
ambition freedom for the negro slaves could best be achieved under the 
French tricolor. In a daring campaign he led his ragged legions of ex-slaves 
over the mountain ranges of the north, and, storming a dozen towns, raised 
the French tricolor, proclaiming emancipation for the blacks. 

Among the first volunteers was Henry Christophe, who had married the 
inn-keeper's daughter and was now 26 years old. He was given the rank of 
sergeant and put in charge of a small band of men. In seven years TOus- 
saint was master of the island. The armies of Spain were conquered and 
the British were driven into the sea. Toussaint became Governor General 


of Saint Domingue and Henry Christophe, the slave boy, "became Military 
Governor of Cap Haitien. 

Under the First Consulate of Bonaparte, France was at peace in 1801. But 
Napoleon had to find an outlet for his armies and generals. In the winter of 
1802 he sent his brother-in-law, General Le Clerc, in command of an expe- 
ditionary force of 22,000 men, to Saint Domingue to take control of the 
island from the negro generals. But Toussaint and Christophe were not go- 
ing to give up their hard won freedom without a fight. When the Firench 
were about to land, Christophe put the torch to his own house, and of the 
800 buildings in Cap Haitien only 60 were left standing. He gave a challenge 
of war to Napoleon, who had never known defeat, and when General Le 
Clerc landed he had nothing to see but a smoking mass of ruins. Henry 
went back to the hills which had so often before given him shelter, there to 
join his generals, Toussaint and Dessalines. But the fortunes of war did not 
favor them. After many months of bitter fighting their ragged armies began 
to desert them. So they decided to make peace on the terms already offered 
by General Le Clerc. 

The terms of the peace were freedom for the slaves, Henry Christophe 
and Dessalines to retain their ranks as generals in the French army, and 
Toussaint, his lifelong ambition realized, freedom for the blacks, divested 
himself of all office and honors and retired to a small plantation. One 
month later he was invited to the home of a French general, and when he got 
there he was made prisoner and conveyed on a warship to France. General 
Toussaint 1'Ouverture, the great soldier and liberator of his race, never saw 
his native island again. He died April 27, 1803, in a stone dungeon at the 
foot of the Alps. 

The same ruse was tried on Henry Christophe and Dessalines, but failed. 
They knew then that the object of France was to establish slavery again. 
So, reorganizing their forces, they again took to the hills with all the equip- 
ment they could seize. Bitter fighting raged, disease set in among the 
French troops and General Le Clerc contracted yellow fever and died. He 
was replaced by General Rochambeau. The French held Cap Haitien and 
other important positions. Dessalines and Christophe swooped down from 
the hills and in a great battle which lasted all day the French forts were 
stormed and captured. Rochambeau and his officers were made prisoners, 
Napoleon's armies were conquered, the negro slaves were masters of the 

On January 1, 1804, the independence of Haiti (newly named by Dessa- 
lines after an old Indian name) was officially proclaimed. In August 1804 
Napoleon took the title of Emperor. Two months later Jean Jacques Dessa- 
lines was crowned first Emperor of Haiti. His reign ended after two years. 
He was ambushed and killed by his own soldiers. 

The time had now come for Henry Christophe to take his place as head 
of the State. He issued an order that a National Assembly be convened to 
draw up a republican constitution and appoint a ruler. On December 27, 
1806, after nine days' debate, a republican constitution was produced and 
Henry Christophe was declared President of Haiti for a period of four years. 
The constitution proved a failure. The jealous mulattoes of the south lacked 
the courage to recognize their need for a leader. They retired to the south- 
ern end of the island and formed a republic at Port au Prince. Christophe 
returned to Cap Haitien. At his order all civil and military leaders came 
together to draw up a constitution. On February 17, 1807, the new consti- 
tution became law. Henry was made general of the land and sea forces of 
Haiti with power to choose his own successor. Catholicism was declared the 
official religion of the State. Divorce was forbidden, education was compul- 
sory The President was to receive a salary equivalent to $40,000 a year 
out of a treasury which did not exist. The country was bankrupt. Haiti 
had no currency, so Henry decided to create one. 

Among the variety of plants growing on the island was the gourde vine, 
the fruit of which was used by the natives for making utensils (spoons, 
bowls, etc.). The fruit was dried in the sun and cut into the required shapes. 
Henry issued an order that every green gourde in the island was the property 
of the State. He sent soldiers out to collect them and soon had more than 
227,000 green gourdes deposited in the "treasury." He put a value of 20 
sous on each, and when the coffee crop was ripe the cultivators brought the 
dried berries into the capital. Christophe bought them at the market value 


and paid out his gourdes. Then he resold the coffee to European merchants 
for gold. Before the end of the year the State of Haiti had a metal currency 
of ahsolute stability in circulation, and to this day the standard coin of Haiti 
is called the gourde. 

In March, 1811, nine members of the Council of State met privately and 
decided to make Henry a king. France, they thought, had no use for a re- 
public, so on June 2, 1811, they put a golden crown on his head and a jew- 
elled sceptre in his hand. The coronation ceremony was held in the Cathe- 
dral of Cap Haitien. A French priest officiated and, in the name of GrOd, 
President Henry Christophe was invested with the power and name of King. 
Here is a list of titles created by the royal household: 4 princes, 8 dukes, 32 

Double Gourde of Henry I of Haiti, 1811. 

counts, 37 barons and 40 chevaliers. In August of the same year he decided 
to build a palace at Sans Souci. When completed in 1812 it was the finest 
building in the New World. It rose four stories and was built of marble, 
brick and plaster. For a cooling system a mountain stream was conducted 
under the great marble halls. In dusty uniform he directed the workers 
remembering the trade he learned long ago on a Caribbean isle. The island 
grew rich under the King's strict rule. By his orders every adult man and 
woman in the kingdom was required to work. Once, standing on the walls 
of his palace, he looked through his telescope and oaw a negro farmer asleep 
by the door of his hut. Twice before the same man had been reprimanded 
for idling during working hours. He called for a captain of artillery and 

IXmble Gourde of Henry I of Haiti, 1813. 

ordered him into the gallery where a huge cannon was set. Henry lit the 
fuse and the cannon ball crushed the farmer and his hut together. 

Cultivators under code were bound to the soil. Hospital and medical at- 
tention was furnished by the landlords. They were also required to support 
the aged and infirm. They were forbidden to transfer a worker from one 
branch of activity to another against his wishes. Any neglect on the part 
of the landlord brought swift demotion down to the rank of common laborer. 
The mulatto President at Port au Prince called Henry a tyrant for enforcing 
such laws. Christophe replied and pointed out that the mulatto President 
had issued 4,000,000 worthless dollars stamped out of tin with the remark 
that all men are thieves. 

King Henry controlled the meat supply and became the chief butcher of 


the kingdom. In all business deals Haiti bought with products and sold for 
gold. In one year his plantations had produced 10,000,000 pounds of sugar 
and exported 20,000,000 pounds of coffee, 5,000,000 pounds of cacao and 
4,000,000 pounds of cotton and other products. He brought experts from 
England who built and equipped a weaving mill in Cap Haitien, which was 
so successful that Haiti ceased importing cotton cloth. Besides his palace at 
Sans Souci he erected seven other palaces and fifteen chateaus. He built 
national schools and brought teachers from Europe who were soon giving 
instructions to over 2,000 pupils. He also compelled every boy ten years 
and over to learn a trade with tools supplied by the State, In June, 1804, 
at the order of Dessalines, work was begun on a great fortress on a mountain 
3,000 feet above sea level. Owing to civil strife, the work was not completed. 
In 1819, when the island had grown rich under Henry, he decided to com- 
plete it. A mulatto engineer named Henry Besse had evolved the design 
under Henry's supervision. Following the original plan, the fortress took 
the shape of an irregular square tapering to a gigantic prow that pointed 
magnetic north. The walls measured 80 to 130 feet high, 20 to 30 feet 
thick. A great underground cistern caught every drop of rain that fell on 
the fortress. There were deep dungeons, powder magazines and treasure 
chambers, with 365 huge bronze cannon, one for each day of the year, and 
housing for a garrison of 10,000 troops. It was to be a defense against at- 
tack by any foreign power and one to test the skill of engineers at any time. 
It was the most impressive structure ever conceived by a negro's brain in 
the thousands of years of the race's history. 

William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament who advocated 
universal freedom for the negroes, asked Admiral Popham, of the British 
West Indies Fleet, to visit the island and write nis impressions. He was 
shown over everything of importance in the new kingdom and then King 
Henry asked him to review his troops. As each regiment passed, Admiral 
Popham was treated to a different and striking uniform and each man six 
feet tall. As the afternoon passed, the Admiral, dazed and marveling, esti- 
mated that not less than 30,000 men had passed before him. What he did 
not know was that an important detail of the review had been concealed 
from him. As each squad passed from sight the men broke ranks, turned 
off when half way down the stairway and, filing through a concealed opening 
in the wall, hurried by an uiidei^ground passage to the barracks and there 
changed uniforms and fell into rank to pass again before the Admiral. 
Christophe had taken advantage of the notion that to Europeans all negroes 
look alike and had treated the British Admiral to thirty views of the same 
one thousand men. 

In 1815, when Napoleon escaped from Elba, he had written King Henry 
for an alliance, but the King replied with a short, contemptuous challenge, 
and when later Louis XVIII sent his envoys to Haiti to bargain for the return 
of the island to the status of a French colony, he executed one as a spy and 
sent the other back to France with a large bottle full of small seeds, with 
instructions to tell Louis that twice as many men as there were seeds in the 
bottle would be required to conquer Haiti. 

But as King Henry's wealth and power grew, so did his enemies, and he 
must have known that the end was not far away, for in the summer of 1820 
the British Admiral again visited the island. He came to say "goodbye" 
he was going home to England. When lie was about to sail he took on 
board a heavy iron chest sealed with the royal seal. It contained $6,000,000 
in gold to be deposited in the Bank of England in the name of Marie Louise 
Henry's Queen. Soon after the King was stricken with paralysis, which 
left him permanently disabled. In October, 1820, the situation became des- 
perate. Whole regiments of his troops deserted him to the republican cause, 
and as the King lay in his bed in his palace at Sans Souci he could see the 
rebel army collecting in the valley. He tried desperately to rally his few 
loyal followers, but the crown was toppling from his head, and as the rebels 
stormed the palace, the king took a loaded pistol from a cabinet beside his 
bed and sent a golden bullet through his brain. He was "buried in a floating 
pool of fresh lime in the great fortress on the mountain. So ended the life 
of Henry Christophe, the slave boy who rose to be King of the Haiti island. 

Translation of Inscriptions on Haitian Coins. 

HENRICTJS DEI GRATIA HAITI REX. Henry, by the Grace of God, King- of 


Haiti). DEUS CAUSA. ATQXJB GLAJ>IUS MELTS. (God is the cause, and my 

HENRY Iv, PARLA GRACE I >E DIKIT. (Henry 1st, by the Grace of God") 

HOI D'HAITY. 1810. AN 10 E>E L/INDEP. (Xing of Haiti. 1813. 10th year of 


Thomas W. Voetter 

(Paper read at the Annual Convention of the American Numismatic Association, 
Chicago, 111., August 26 to 31, 1933.) 

An advanced collector receives a glorious thrill when a rare coin for 
which he has searched for a long time is offered him by his dealer, or when 
he receives word that his bid for the piece has been successful at some sale. 
But possibly there is a greater thrill when he obtains a piece belonging to 
a series in which he is interested and this variety is unknown to him and is 
not described in the publications pertaining to this branch of numismatic 

About two years ago, while the writer was stationed in Curacao, he 
purchased from the heirs of a deceased collector one such piece. It was 
the third part of a Spanish-American eight-real piece, cut with the usual 
crenelated edge of the fifth parts, which not uncommon, but the punch 
mark showed the figure "5" in a circle instead of the usual "3." 

After the acquisition of the piece efforts were made to find out more about 
it. This piece is not described in Howland "Wood's work on West Indian 
coinage. The bankers of Curacao were shown the piece and without ex- 
ception stated that they had never heard of a five-real piece having been in 
circulation in Curacao, but the older men remembered the time when the 
threes-real piece was in circulation there. The one other collector known 
was consulted, and he also had never seen or heard of such a piece. The 
matter was brought to the attention of one of the local historians, who was 
very familiar with facts concerning the early conditions in the colony, and 
he also had no information. He kindly furnished an extract from an old 
Dutch financial paper which gave interesting information about monetary 
conditions in past days in Curacao (a translation of this article is given 
below) and intimated that the piece in question may have been one of the 
falsifications mentioned in the article. So far efforts to obtain information 
had resulted negatively. Finally, a gray-haired man was found who stated 
that he remembered seeing one of the pieces when it was worn as a brooch 
by his grandmother. This was the first positive information found, as it 
proved that at least one other piece had been on the island. Later it was 
learned that possibly another piece was in Curacao in the collection of a 
gentleman then absent. 

Next, search was instituted among colonial records. In the collection of 
laws in the office of the Colonial Secretary there was found a decree by 
which the five-real piece was made uncurrent after January 1, 1827. A 
decree was looked for by which this piece was authorized, but it was not 
found in this collection of Curacao laws. Finally another Curacao gentle- 
man furnished a copy of a decree contained in his collection of old laws, 
and this decree gave the authority for the establishment of the piece. The 
last-named decree, in translation, is quoted below, and the essential parts 
of the other decree are given, so that this information may be available in 
the English language for other collectors. From the experience obtained 
in tracing down this piece it is obvious that numismatic information is not 
easily obtainable on the island itself. The old archives have been removed 
from Curacao to The Netherlands for preservation on account of the 
climate, which is not conducive to keeping of old paper. It was stated that 
there did not exist on the island any copies of the laws or orders issued 
during the English occupation, during which period some varieties of the 
cut pieces were probably issued. 


A translation of the resolution providing for the five-real pieces Is as 


The Vice Admiral, The Governor General, and the Political 
Court of Curacao and dependant islands. 

To all those who shall see this or hear it read, Greetings: 

Let it be known: 

That it has been found well and resolved: 

1. At one time, or from time to time as may be decided by His 
Excellency the Governor General, to have cut a quantity of silver 
into fractions, in three and in five pieces, and to authorize the cir- 
culation of these pieces in the islands of this jurisdiction. 

2. The value of these pieces to be fixed at: One third of a patin 
(peso) each 5 reaals or thirty stuivers, and the pieces of one fifth 
each 3 reaals or eighteen stuivers. 

3. That the pieces of five reaals or thirty stuivers shall be 
stamped with the figure "5," and that of three reaals or eighteen 
stuivers with the figure "3," and from this day on in this and de- 
pendant islands all persons shall receive and accept them at the 
same respective values. 

Thus decided in the Court's meeting held at Government House 
in Fort Amsterdam on the Island of Curacao the 18th day of July 
in the year 1818, the fifth of His Majesty's reign. 

The Governor and the above mentioned council, 

(Sig) A. Kikkert 
For execution of same 

(Sig) W. Prince, Secy. 

Published at Fort Amsterdam in Willemstad the following twen- 
ty-ninth of the month. 

(Sig) W. Prince, Secy. 

From the above it will be seen that but two values were authorized by 
this resolution, the fifth part and the third part of the Spanish dollar, and 
pieces the sixth part of the Spanish dollar are not mentioned. 

The essential parts, or rather those of numismatic interest, in the decree 
abolishing the five-reaal piece are as follows: 


A Royal decree of May 10, 1826, La Hague, No. 11, fixing the 
monetary system of Curacao, has been issued. 

By that law the gulden was fixed as the standard coin for Cura- 
cao, with coins for fractions, fifty, twenty-five, and ten cents, and 
copper coins of one cent and half a cent. 

The gulden is equal to one hundred cents, 

One fifth of the Spanish dollar equal to fifty cents, 

The Curacao stuiver equal to 2 y 2 cents, 
From 1st January 1827 there shall be withdrawn from circulation: 

The reaals or shillings of 1821, 

The reaals and old Danish shillings, 

The third part of the Spanish dollar, and 

The pieces of 3 V 2 reaals. 
By that decree the values of foreign coins was fixed as follows: 

The Spanish pillar dollar, Gulden 2.50. 

Gold and silver Spanish coins in the same proportion. 

Old Portuguese gold Johannas, 2.25 per English troy 

All accounts to be kept in gulden, the peso of eight to be con- 
verted to gulden and the rate of gulden 1.33%. 

The following paragraphs taken from the book "Het Bankwezen in 
de Nederlandsch 'West Indie," by G. J. Fabius, pages 29-31, may be of in- 

By reason of the small amount of change that was in circula- 
tion Governor J. K. Lauffer in the year 1798 ordered the gold- 


smitli H. J. Hoyer to cut 7,0 Ou ripanish dollars (daalders) into 
four equal parts. And they used to call these three edge pieces 
in the country's language Guiotin corta, and the value was 50 
cents Dutch. 

In the year 1815 the Council again ordered cut 7,000 dollars, 
but now to be cut into five parts. Many of the three edge pieces 
were not larger than 1/6 measure, which were brought here by 
falsifiers in great quantities for circulation from the Island of St. 
Thomas, West Indies. 

The four divided pieces were collected, restamped with a five 
leaved design and established as pieces of 3 ^ reaals each. They 
were withdrawn in 1826. With the profit they bought the notes 
brought into circulation by Governor Changuion. 

During the time Baron van Raders was Governor, he ordered, 
because there was a scarcity of small coins, 6,000 Dutch Guilders 
to be cut into four parts furnished with the mark "C." By Publi- 
cation Sheet of June, 1838 it was ordered that each such fourth 
part of the Dutch guilder should be brought into circulation to the 
internal value of 25 cents Dutch and that they should be current 
in the colony. This, however, was taken amiss by the Acting Gov- 
ernor of Surinam, Mr. de Kanter, who would not have the King's 
(Willem I) bust divided into four parts. However, it was impos- 
sible to change the pieces again. 

With the exception of the cut pieces the coinage for Curacao is not very 
extensive or very interesting. The colony was for a long period before the 
English occupation administered in the interests of the Dutch West India 
Company. There was a silver coinage, in the style of Dutch provincial 
pieces, made for this company in The Netherlands in 1794, in the denomi- 
nations of 3, 1 and V 2 guilder. These pieces are sometimes found in Euro- 
pean sales in uncirculated condition, but during seven years' residence in 
Curacao no specimen in used condition was seen by the writer, so they may 
not have been placed in circulation in Curacao. 

Of the cut pieces, the information regarding all the cuttings and counter- 
stampings is far from complete, and it may be that full information regard- 
ing this series of provisionals may never be obtained. From the extracts 
quoted we learn that the first cutting took place in 1798 while the Dutch 
were in possession of the island, and that the 3^-reaal or 21-stuiver pieces 
cut four to the dollar were later overstamped with a rosace of five leaves. 
It is also stated that in 1815 dollars were cut in five parts, but it is not 
definitely stated that these were marked with any particular counterstamp. 
There are pieces of one-fifth to the dollar counterstamped with the rosace, 
with the figure "3" in a dentaded depression and with the figure "3" in a 
circle. Evidence as to when the "3" in the dentaded depression came into 
use is not clear. In the Cederlund collection there is a specimen which 
was stamped on part of a Spanish dollar dated 1819, so this particular 
specimen must have been marked in that year or later. In the exhibit of 
the writer there is a specimen of the rosace type punched on 'a part of a 
Spanish-American dollar of Ferdinand VII, so this piece must have been 
finished in 1808 or later. From the similarity of the "3" in circle to the 
"5" in circle on the third part of the dollar it may be inferred that they 
were made at the same time. A specimen is shown countermarked on a 
Spanish fifth dollar of 1816, so this piece must have been made not earlier 
than that date. 

The cutting of the Spanish dollars was made on a machine of the type of 
a printer's guillotine, hence the local name "Guiotin Corta," which trans- 
lates "Cut on a guillotine." This local name continued during the time 
the cut pieces one-fifth of a dollar were in circulation, and many of the 
older residents of Curacao remember when these pieces were in circulation. 
As they were legally rated as being equivalent to half a florin or 50 Dutch 
cents, this name was in part continued to apply to the half florin piece, and 
this coin in Curacao is still termed "Guiotin" as a nickname. There exist 
many pieces in which the arc seems to be one-sixth of a circle instead of 
the one-fifth as prescribed by the decrees authorizing their use. We have 
the evidence that small pieces were introduced from St. Thomas by falsi- 
fiers, who hoped to gain by passing one-sixth of a dollar for one-fifth. How- 


ever, some may have been produced by careless cutting. In the exhibit 
you will find six of these pieces arranged together. The length of the sides 
of these pieces is greater than the radius of the dollar piece, and the 
weight of these so-called sixths may be equal to the weight of one-fifth of 
the dollar. It is evident that six of these pieces could not have been cut 
from a Spanish dollar, a specimen of which is placed there for comparison. 
On the other hand, pieces with the arc measuring one-fifth of a circle fre- 
quently have very short radii, so, evidently if some of the pieces had their 
sides too long, the other pieces cut from the same dollar would have to 
have their sides shorter. 

As at least one-fifth of the pieces cut should show the date of the Spanish 
dollar from which they were fraccionated, it is advised that collectors hav- 
ing these cut pieces examine them and give information regarding the 
latest date appearing on each type. If sufficient information of this nature 
is forthcoming our knowledge of the dates of making of each type will be 

In 1821 a one-reaal piece was coined for Curacao. There are many va- 
rieties of reverse, commonly distinguished by counting the number of 
acorns appearing. There are also at least two major varieties of obverse. 
This piece, as stated above, was retired from circulation in 1827. 

In 1822 there appeared a very small piece of the denomination of 1 
stuiver. These continued in circulation, and any collection of a lot of them 
after circulation appears as a handful of fish scales, they being worn so 
thin and smooth. 

In 1838 (some authorities say 1836) Dutch florins of Willem I were cut 
into four parts, and each part stamped with a "C," to circulate as one- 
fourth florin. 

Later, possibly in 1854, three Curacao firms, Leyba & Co., J. J. Naar, and 
Jesurun & Co., received permission to have billon pieces of 1 stuiver and 
to circulate them. A short time later a sufficient supply of Netherlands 
currency was brought to the island and these privately introduced pieces 
went out of circulation. They were later used by the proprietors of coaling 
plants as tally counters in bunkering steamers, this operation being then 
done by hand with baskets. One of the firms, S. E. L. Maduro & Sons, 
stamped with a letter "C" those tokens used by it, thus preventing a laborer 
from receiving more pay than his work represented by adding to his stock 
of tokens from outside sources. The other bunkering firm issued white 
metal tokens, with the letters **C. T. Co./' for Curacao Trading Company. 

In 1900 there appeared the first coins struck by The Netherlands for use 
in Curacao alone. It was a 14 -guilder piece, the obverse having the head 
of Queen Wilhelmina the same as on The Netherlands pieces of the period, 
the reverse having the coat-of-arms of The Netherlands, with "Kolonie 
Curacao" above and date below. In 1901 appeared a similar companion 
piece of 1/10-guilder. Since this time all the coins introduced into Curacao 
have been regular coins of The Netherlands. 

Students of Curacao numismatics are cautioned not to confuse the "reaal" 
with the Spanish-American real. In the market at Curacao the retail sales- 
women still make a distinction, the reaal being valued at 15 Dutch cents 
and the real at 25 Dutch cents. In. Curacao, as in the United States, the 
humbler class of dealers cling longest to old coin names, for retail sales- 
men in markets were still quoting their goods in "levies" and "shillings" 
long after the use of these terms had gone out of use in "big business." In 
traveling through the Caribbean countries interesting bits of knowledge 
may be found current among the older people in the markets, while this 
information regarding old coins may not be found elsewhere. If any of 
my hearers run across bills or invoices giving values in two currencies dated 
in the earlier part of last century, make a note, and this may help you 
when you try to attribute some piece of West Indies necessity money. 




H. A. Seaby 

The earliest known coins were struck in Asia Minor in approxi- 
mately 700 B.C. and in the course of the next few hundred years most 
cities and peoples around the Mediterranean shores issued their own 
coins. It is indirectly to Ancient Greece that we owe the first British 

Stater of Philip H of Macedon 

Philip H, King; of Macedon, 359-336 B.C., struck one of the largest 
issues of gold coins in ancient times, which circulated throughout the 
then known world. The natives of Gaul copied these gold staters and 
with them sailed across the English Channel to trade with the Britons. 

Early Stater of Britain 

About 150 B.C. the Ancient Britons made a rather crude copy of 
the Gaulish imitation, and followed it up with still more barbarous 

On the conquest of England by the Romans a law was published 
prohibiting the circulation of any money but that bearing the Imperial 
authority, so for some four hundred years Roman coins were the official 
currency of this country. After the Roman withdrawal these coins and 
copies of them continued to circulate and for some two hundred years 
there is a complete break in the coinage. There then appeared a Saxon 
coinage of small silver and gold coins, known as the sceat and the 
thrymsa, without the name of the issuers, and about which very little 
is definitely known. 

Penny of Cynethryth, Widow of Offa 

In the eighth century the silver denier was the common coin in use 
in Western Europe and was brought across the English Channel by 


travellers. In about the year 760 Offa, King of Mercia, struck a silver 
penny of really good workmanship at Canterbury, and for some six 
hundred years the silver penny was almost the only denomination to be 
coined. The weight of this coin was 24 grains and gave its name to 
the penny -weight. 

Penny of Alfred the Great 

The above illustration is a penny of Alfred the Great, 866-871, 
which was struck at London and has the monogram of that city on 
the reverse side. Tilevine Moneta refers to the moneyer or man who 
was responsible for the issue. 

Penny of William I 

The conquest of England by the Normans saw no change in the 
coinage and William the Conqueror struck only the penny. As in Saxon 
times the coins were struck at a large number of towns, it being easier 
to send dies around the country than vast quantities of pennies. 

Gold Penny of Henry HI 

In the reign of Henry III, 1216-1272, an attempt was made to 
introduce a gold coinage. In 1257 a gold penny was struck weighing 45 
grains, and was to be current for twenty pence, but this was soon raised 
to twenty- four pence. The country was not yet ready for this innovation 
and the citizens of London protested; the King listened to their plea 
and promptly withdrew the issue, hence its extreme rarity today. No 
specimen has turned up on the market for some years, and today it 
is catalogued at 1,000. 

In 1279, under Edward I, a new coinage of a new type was issued. 
It was to consist of penny, halfpenny and farthing, and was of a type 


Penny of Edward I 

as illustrated above. Groats of the value of four pennies of somewhat 
similar type were also struck but this denomination did not really come 
into general circulation until the reign of Edward m in 1351, when the 
half-groat was also first struck. The pennies of Edward I are so common 
that although nearly seven hundred years old they can be purchased for 
about half a crown. 

For some time it had been felt that a gold currency was necessary 
and, in fact, foreign gold coins freely circulated here, which could hardly 
be entirely satisfactory. In 1343 Edward m ordered a gold coinage, 
which consisted of the florin, its half the leopard, and its quarter the 
helm. The florin was nearly pure gold, 23 carats 3V 2 grains fine, and 
weighed 108 grains. It was current for six shillings, double the value 
of the Italian florin. These pieces were too highly rated in proportion 
to silver and were at once withdrawn, and very few examples are in 
existence today. 

Noble of Edward HI 

In the following August the first noble was issued, being current 
for 6s. 8d., it had on it the famous type of the king in a ship, which 
may have been suggested by the naval supremacy won at Sluys in 1340. 
During the next few years there were various changes in weight and in 
1351 it was finally fixed at 120 grains and the ratio of gold to silver 
being settled at twelve to one ratio, and by this time the half and quarter 
nobles -were being regularly issued. The inscription on the reverse of the 
noble "Jesus autem transiens" etc. was considered to be a charm against 
thieves or rather a warning against the practice of clipping. The purity 
of the metal of these coins and their handsome appearance led to their 
being copied in the Low Countries; these were, however, of lighter 
weight and of somewhat base gold, and laws were passed prohibiting 
their importation. 

For the next hundred years there was little change in the coinage 
except for some reduction in weight owing to the exchange position, and 
the internal value of money, i.e., inflation. In 1464, on account of the 
dearth of money the value of the gold was raised to 8s. 6d. for the noble. 


In the following year a new gold coin, the ryal or rose-noble, was issued; 
it was like the earlier noble in design but had a rose on the ship and a 
sun in centre of the reverse; these being the badges Edward IV had 
adopted after the battle of Mortimer's Cross. Its weight was 120 grains 
and its value was raised to ten shillings. 

Angel of Edward IV 

As it was still felt desirable to have a 6s. 8d. coin, why we cannot 
imagine, as there was a half -ryal of 5s., except that it had become the 
standard professional fee (and is still retained by lawyers), a new coin, 
the angel, was established. The type was the Archangel Michael, with 
wings and a nimbus, transfixing a dragon with a spear. This is the coin 
that was used for the "touching for the king's evil' 1 ; when afflicted 
persons came before the king to be healed by his "touch," the sovereign 
hung a gold coin around the invalid's neck as a charm against a return 
of the disease. 

When we come to the reign of Henry VU, 1485-1509, the coinage 
represents the first step in the transition from mediaeval to modern 
currency, and the greatness of the house of Tudor shines forth in the 
splendor of its money. He coined two new denominations, the gold 
sovereign or double ryal, weighing 240 grains, and being current for 
twenty shillings, and the silver testoon or shilling. 

On the obverse of the sovereign the king is shown enthroned, and 
on the reverse the Tudor rose is charged with the royal shield. Its large 
size offered the artist ample scope of which he took full advantage; it 
was the finest coin that had ever been struck in England and excelled all 
other European coins, and marked the growing wealth of this country. 

f Septim" Shilling of Henry VU 

The other new coin, the testoon or shilling, was first minted in 1504, 
and its design introduced new features into our coinage. The king's bust 
was in profile for the first time and could therefore be a portrait in 
place of the stereotyped facing head. Another innovation was the 


placing of words or numerals after the king's name to denote he was 
the seventh Henry who had ascended the throne. Numismatists have 
only been able to distinguish the various issues of the earlier kings from 
mint-marks and other small devices, except in the case of some of the 
coins of Henry III. 

Henry VTEI added considerably to the coins issued by his father, all 
in gold; the double- sovereign, the half-sovereign, the George-noble, the 
half -George-noble (only one specimen now known), the quarter angel, 
the crown and the half-crown. 

George-Noble of Henry VIU 

The ' George-noble and its half were only issued during this reign. 
In 1530 the angel of 80 grains went up in value to 7s. 6d., and the 
George-noble took its place as the 6s. 8d. coin. The ship came back on 
the obverse and the St. George and dragon is found on the reverse; this 
is the first appearance of England's patron saint on her coinage. 

The innovations during this reign, however, showed one retrogres- 
sive step. That was the lowering of the standard of the coinage. Some 
of the gold was brought down to 22 carats (at which standard most 
gold coins continued to be struck right up to 1917) and later for a 
short period to 20 carats. The debasement of the silver money com- 
menced in 1543, when it stood at 5 parts fine to 1 part alloy, and it 
successively fell till it was only one-third silver. 

Queen Elizabeth turned her attention to the state of the coinage 
almost immediately on her accession, and restored the silver to its old 
fineness. In this reign the number of denominations reached its max- 
imum and must have been rather confusing to both the shopper and the 
shop-keeper. The gold coins of the best quality (23 cts. 3y 2 grs. fine) 
were the sovereign (30s.), the ryal (20s.), the angel (10s.), the half- 
angel (5s.) and the quarter-angel (2s. 6d.) ; those of "crown gold" (22 
cts. fine) were the pound sovereign (20s.), the half-sovereign (10s.), the 
crown (5s.) and the half-crown (2s. 6d.)- The silver coinage consisted of 
eleven denominations: crown, half crown, shilling, sixpence, groat, three- 
pence, half -groat, three-halfpence, penny, three- farthings, halfpenny. 

Up to this reign all coins had been hammered, struck by the 
hammer, which often caused a weak or imperfect imprint and an irregu- 
lar edge, the latter being an encouragement for clipping. At this period 
the French introduced a new method of striking coins by means of the 
screw-press, and in 1560 machinery was set up in the Tower for making 
"milled money." The coins thus struck were very superior to the ham- 
mered money, but the workmen at the mint thinking their livelihood 
was in danger so objected that the experiment was short-lived, and the 


regular adoption of milled money was put back for nearly one hundred 

Portcullis Crown of Elizabeth 

It was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth that the first colonial 
coins were issued. In 1600 coins were struck for use by the new trading 
company, "The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the 
East Indies." They are often called portcullis crowns, halfcrowns, shill- 
ings and sixpences, but were really 8, 4, 2 and 1 reales as they were to 
supersede the Spanish dollar and its parts. 

Grueber writes, "The death of Elizabeth brought to a close one of 
the most important periods in the history of the English coinage, that 
of the Tudor dynasty. The coinage from Henry VH to Elizabeth had 
been as remarkable for its vicissitudes as for its excellence. During no 
other period did the English mints issue such an array of coins so con- 
spicuous for their beauty of workmanship, their unusual size, and their 
great variety. The actual output also exceeded that of any previous 

At the accession of James I, son of Mary Queen of Scots, the union 
of England and Scotland is recorded on the coinage by alteration in the 
monarch's titles as weU as the change in the royal arms. The coinage 
of this reign is somewhat complicated as there were three separate 
issues, all differing as far as the gold was concerned, but no startling 
innovations took place. 

There was a copper coinage in Scotland, and James, realizing the 
advantages of this and objecting to the leaden tradesmen's tokens that 
were then circulating, decided on an official copper coinage in this 
country. But instead of having these struck at the Royal Mint he issued 
a patent to Lord Harrington to strike copper farthings bearing the 
king's name and to weigh 6 grains each. As they were small and thin 
they were not at all popular, although they were issued at a discount. 

Owing to the Civil War, the reign of Charles I provides the most 
extensive and varied coinage of any period. The early years of the 
reign showed little change in the coinage, but one of the effects of the 
struggle between the king and the parliament was the establishment of 
local mints throughout the country, which supplied money for the king 
to carry on the struggle. Besides the normal coins of the Tower mint 
and those of the local mints, there must be added the coinage of Nicholas 
Briot and the issues of towns and castles in a state of siege. 


In 1625 Briot came to England from the Paris mint and obtained 
employment at the Tower, where the main English mint had been 
established for centuries. He re-introduced the mill and screw-press, 
but it was only used for the coins engraved by himself, and he was the 
finest die engraver that had worked in England for some years. 

Briot Sixpence of Charles I 

The majority of the coinage was still hammered but the dies for 
some of these pieces were also probably executed by him. The York 
mint was established by 1642, and the king, having gone north, sum- 
moned Nicholas Briot to bring his coining instruments to York; this 
mint remained open until the battle of Marston Moor in July 1644 
placed the city in the hands of the Parliamentary forces. 

A considerable amount of the silver used for the coinage came from 
Wales, and in 1637 Thomas Bushell, the lessee of the mines, was 
instructed to open a mint at Aberystwyth for the coinage of this silver. 
On the 19th September 1642 the king held a Privy Council at Wellington 
in Shropshire, where he made his famous "Declaration." This was 
henceforth found on the reverse of most of his coins as "Religio Protest- 
tantium. Leges Angliae, Libertas Parliament!" (The religion of the 
Protestants, the laws of England, the liberty of the Parliament) 
abbreviated. At about the same time BushelPs mint was transferred 
to Shrewsbury, but it only stayed here for a short time as it was moved 
to Oxford in December 1642. At this latter mint a number of outstand- 
ing pieces were struck; in gold we get the handsome triple unites or 
three pound pieces (see Frontispiece), the largest piece in this metal 
to date ; in silver we find the pound and half-pound ; these were probably 
made from plate belonging to the Oxford Colleges, as well as from 
private owners who gave theirs to the king. The engraver at Oxford 
was Thomas Rawlins, who also superintended the operation of that mint. 

Rawlin's Oxford Crown of Charles I 

He produced one especially remarkable coin, that showing the king 
on horseback with a view of the city in the background. The Oxford 
mint remained open till the city fell in 1646, but Bushell was sent off 
in July 1643 to open a new mint at Bristol, which he maintained till 
the fall of that city in 1645 when he moved to Lundy Island. Other 
mints were also established at Truro, Exeter, Weymouth, Salisbury, 
Worcester, etc., for varying periods. 

The last series of money of this reign were the siege pieces; these 
were mostly silver, and were struck at Carlisle, Colchester, Newark, 
Pontefract and Scarborough. These pieces were mostly cut from pieces 
of plate and stamped with a mark of value according to their weight, 

Newark Half-Crown, 

but those issued at Newark and Pontefract were more regularly struck, 
mostly on lozenge-shaped blanks. 

When the king left London, the Parliament seized the mint at the 
Tower and continued to strike coins bearing the king's portrait till 
1646 when they ran short of bullion. The mint opened again under the 
Commonwealth, when we have a coinage for the first and last time with 

Half-Crown of the Commonwealth 

the legends on both sides in English. A series of very fine coins, bearing 
on the obverse the portrait of Cromwell, were designed by Thomas 
Simon and beautifully struck in a press; it had been intended to issue 
these for circulation but for some reason they do not appear to have 
been issued as they usually turn up in first-class condition. 

At the Restoration Charles II continued the old process of ham- 
mered money; these were from good dies made by Simon but very 
badly struck. In 1662 Peter Blondean re-introduced a milled coinage 
and used a collar for the edge; on the large coins this had words Decus 
and Tutamen (an ornament and a safeguard, i.e. against clipping) and 


date or regnal year, on the other coins graining; these coins vary very 
little from those used today. The silver consisted of crown, halfcrown, 
shilling and sixpence, also fourpence, threepence, twopence and penny 
(weight 7 23/31 grains). The gold coinage was five guineas, two 
guineas, guinea and half -guinea. The earliest pieces were made from 
gold brought from Guinea by the Africa Company which provided the 
name for the gold coin of twenty shillings (weight 129 39/89 grains). 
The dies for the new milled coinage were engraved by Jan Roettiers, a 
native of Antwerp, who had been appointed a colleague to Simon at the 
Mint, as his father had rendered financial assistance to Charles in exile. 
He and Simon did not get on together and the latter appealed against 
the acceptance of Roettiers' dies. A trial of skill was ordered and they 
both produced new dies. Simon made his now famous "Petition Crown" 
and Roettiers the dies that were adopted in 1663, superb art having 
been defeated by personal feeling. 

Simon's Petition Crown 

On this piece there are two lines of legend (except for "Majesty") 
running around the edge: 

Eijamas immt . MOST . HVMBLY . PRAYS . YOUR . iffllA3HE&1I 
DUTCH . AND . IF . MORE (second line) TRULY . DRAWN & 

About fifteen specimens of this rare pattern are now known, of 
which six are in museums ; it is one of the most sought after pieces and 
a first-class specimen would probably realise at least 750 today. 

This reign saw the introduction of a proper regal copper coinage 
and in 1672 halfpennies and farthings were issued. The figure of 
Britannia was adopted for the reverse, copied from the Roman coin of 
Antoninus Pius, and the Duchess of Richmond sat as a model. At the 
end of the reign tin superseded copper; but these pieces had a copper 
plug in them, and this continued into the next two reigns, but in 1694 
the mint resumed the striking of copper. 

Early in the reign of George III regal coins of both silver and 
copper became very scarce which led to the revival of trade tokens. 
These were made in very large quantities by local authorities and trad- 
ing firms; they were finally suspended in 1797 when a contract for a 
new copper coinage was given to Boulton of the Soho Mint, near 


Birmingham. Previously the trouble with the official copper coinage 
had been its constant forgery, but the new pieces were of good weight, 
which made it unprofitable for the forgers to copy. The first coins to 
be made were the "cartwheel" twopence, containing 2 oz. of copper, 
and a similar penny. They were, however, too clumsy for ordinary use 

Cartwheel Twopence of 1797 

and in 1799 a halfpenny and a farthing were made. The twopence was 
not continued but the other three denominations were struck on many 
dates up to 1860. Half, third and quarter farthings were occasionally 
struck for use in some of the colonies and in 1842 the former was pro- 
claimed as current in this country. After 1860 a bronze coinage took 
the place of the copper and they were of the same size and denomination 
as today and all are still current. 

The gold coinage stayed the same until the last years of George III, 
except for the introduction of two new denominations. In 1718 and 
again in 1762 a quarter-guinea was struck, and in 1798 a third-guinea 
was first issued and retained till 1813, the date that the last guinea and 
half -guinea were struck. In 1817, sovereigns (weight 123.274 grs.) and 
half-sovereigns were first struck in their modern size and shape, with 
St. George and dragon on the reverse of the former, and were continued 
in most years for the next century. In a few years five pound and two 
pound pieces were also issued, usually in the first year of a new coinage. 

As previously stated, there has been little change in the silver 
coinage since the days of Charles II. It is somewhat uncertain when 
trie four small coins ceased to be struck for general use, but only for 
the Maundy ceremony, probably in the reign of George m. In 1836, 
fourpences with Britannia on the reverse were struck for circulation and 
threepences, the same as the Maundy threepence in 1845. A new denom- 
ination, the florin (2s.), was introduced in 1849, and from 1887-90 the 
double-florins were struck. The first florin was known as the "Godless" 
florin owing to the omission of DEI GRATIA or D.G. from the inscrip- 
tion. In 1816 the weight was slightly reduced from 93 grs. to 87% grs. 
for the shilling; silver coins from this date are still legal tender. In 
1920/1, owing to the rise in the price of silver, the coinage was debased 
to only 50% silver, at which it had remained till 1946. Now no silver 
is being struck but halfcrowns, florins, shillings and sixpences are being 
made in cupro-nickel. 



Charles G. Colver 

FINDING soaring prices and 
speculation running wild with 
our U.S. coins, the true numis- 
matist is now looking for new fields 
of endeavor. The obvious move is 
to foreign coins which are still 
available in quantity to the average 
collector. The old time reference 
to a foreign assortment as "junk** 
is not heard so frequently now as 
the trend gathers momentum. 

The first cmestion, then, is what 
to collect. While considering this 
problem several years ago I investi- 
gated English coinage, and was 
very impressed with its historical 
background as well as the many 
interesting similarities to our own 
issues. Needless to sav, I am now 
an enthusiastic collector of Brit- 
ain's coins and am building a dis- 
play that will compete with any 
U.S. group in both beauty and in- 

The English take great pride in 
their money; to them a coin is more 
than just something to spend, it is 
a portrait of a bit of their nation's 
history in a small package. The 
engravers turn out excellent ex- 
amples of medallic art, and then 
the mint produces a finished piece 
worthy of a spot in anyone's gem 
specimen set. Numerous patterns 
and trial pieces bear out the fact 
that their coins are neither hastily 
designed nor "mess" produced. If 
a new issue does not meet with pub- 
lic approval, it is quickly abandoned 
and something more desirable is 
brought forth. 

A complete history of English 
coinage would not only exceed this 
limited space, but would eliminate 
many readers at this point. There- 
fore we will not go back to the 
numerous Roman coins of England 
nor the Anglo-Saxon issues, but will 
discuss only the modern examples. 

The many different denomina- 
tions in use would confuse a Phila- 
delphia lawyer; even today, without 
gold, they regularly use nine differ- 
ent sizes. Tradition demands mint- 
ing all of these coins, although less 
can be purchased with the lowly 
farthing today than with our own 
Lincoln cent. 

The London Mint is truly a great 
money factory turning out huge 
quantities and varieties of coins. 
Occasionally they call upon private 
mints for help; such as the one at 
Birmingham, mint mark H, and the 
King's Norton Copper Company, 
mark KN. Many, many mints ex- 
isted during earlier times with all 
types and descriptions of mint 

Gold sovereigns of the English 
type were minted at seven locations 
just as our half eagles were issued 
from all seven U.S. mints. In addi- 
tion to London, bearing no mint 
mark, sovereigns were made at 
Perth (P), Sydney (s), Melbourne 
(M), Ottawa (c), Pretoria (SA), and 
Bombay (i), the last appearing in 
1918 only is quite scarce. 

You have often heard it said that 
the sun never sets on British soil, 
and the same holds true of her 


coins. Therefore it is the most 
widely seen and circulated money 
in the history of the world. Since 
the portrait of the current British 
ruler appears on nearly all of the 
Commonwealth coinage, it becomes 
the most widely seen likeness of a 
living person in the world. Custom 
requires that each new ruler shall 
face in the opposite direction from 
his predecessor; thus George VI al- 
ways looked left, and his daughter, 
Elizabeth II, faces right. However, 
we find her facing left on horseback 

Crown of Edward VI, 1551, first 
dated crown of England. 

on the crown piece in memory of 
a similar coin issued 400 years ago 
by Edward VI. 

Early manufacturing methods 
were very crude and their product 
the same. Some of the older coins 
are quite difficult to identify and 
can be a source of deep study and 
discussion with fellow collectors. 
Tricks of the trade were learned 
rapidly, however, and we find con- 
stant improvement. To combat par- 
ing the edges of early silver pennies, 
for example, the "short cross" type 
was replaced by a "long cross" 
which reached to the outer rim. 

A most desirable item to obtain 
is the first dated silver crown of 
England issued in 1551 by Edward 
VI 1 . Shortly thereafter came Eliza- 
beth I, who cannot hold a candle 
to the present Queen, except that 
her coins are more interesting. 
During her reign they discarded the 
old hammered method of manufac- 
ture, and adopted the mill and screw 
press for a short time, only to re- 
turn to the old method until the 
reign of Charles I. 

The William and Mary crown 
could almost be called the prototype 
of our Washington and Lafayette 
dollar since their conjoined busts 
appear on the coin in much the 
same fashion. A short time later 

Reverses of two George in gold 
gnineas, showing: how the terms 
"spade guinea" (left) and ''rose 
guinea" (right) originated. 

in 1707, the union between England 
and Scotland was accomplished. 
Some of Queen Anne's coins of that 
year bear the mint mark E denoting 
this historic event, and even now 
a special Scottish type shilling is 
regularly struck. Also many coins 
during this period were identified 
by the source of their metal just 
as was our 1848 CAL, quarter eagle. 
The letters ssc meant that the silver 
was shipped to England by the 
South Seas Company, and KEMA 
found on a coin indicated this silver 
was taken from the Spaniards while 
en route to Spain from Peru. 

King James II spent some time 
in Ireland while in exile and busied 
himself manufacturing coins to 
finance his return to the throne. 
No silver was available for this 
venture, so he melted almost any- 
thingincluding cannon; thus the 

1. The first English coin to bear a date was Edward VI's shilling struck at Durham 
House with the date MDXLVIII. 


term "gun money" was born. They, 
except the crown, are the only mod- 
ern coins bearing the month as well 
as the year of issue. 

A great variety of emergency 
coins and tokens are found. Among 
the most popular of these are 
counterstamps upon Spanish dol- 
lars. Of course the Coventry half- 
penny token showing Lady Godiva 
is always very attractive to male 
collectors. George III was King at 
the time of the fight for freedom 
by the American colonies, and he 
contributed a vast array of coins 
for the English collector. About 
this time the gold guinea piece dis- 
appeared, and in its stead the cur- 

Emergency coin showing: bust of 
George HI of England counter- 
stamped over Spanish, dollar of 
Charles IV which gave rise to the 
expression "Two king's* heads not 
worth a crown." 

rent gold sovereign was brought 
into use. Also, we have the huge 
bronze cartwheel set of 1797 which 
is of little value other than paper 
weights and accurate scale balances, 
and is still being found performing 
these services occasionally. 

The high point of our discussion 
is reached with the Victorian era. 
One of the most beautifully designed 
and superbly made coins of all time 
is the "Gothic" crown of 1847. Ex- 
amine one with a glass and you 
will marvel at the detail attained 
by the engraver of this gem. 

The silver florin was introduced 
during 1849 and was immediately 
dubbed the "Godless" coin because 
the long used inscription, DEI GRA- 
TIA, (by the Grace of God) was 
omitted. A similar incident oc- 
curred with our first Saint-Gaudens 

type $20 piece, it being called 
"Teddy's Godless coin," until the 
motto IN GOD WE TRUST could be 
added. Also, as on our Saint-Gaudens 
coin, the early florins were dated 
in Roman numerals, until the climax 
was reached in 1886 MDCCCLXXXVI 
with the date reaching nearly 
halfway around the coin. 

In order to show her current like- 
ness, the effigy of Queen Victoria 
was changed four times during her 
64 year reign. A 50 year jubilee 

The famous Victoria Gothic 
crown, one of the most outstanding- 
coins ever designed. 

issue appeared during 1887 in her 
honor, but was unpopular and soon 
discontinued. Along with this jubi- 
lee set a double florin or four shill- 
ing piece was introduced. Like our 
20^ piece it lasted only four years, 
and today many dealers offer them 
as crowns. Many of the smaller 
jubilee coins were hand enameled 
on the reverse and sold as attrac- 
tive souvenirs at the jubilee cele- 
bration, going like hot cakes. Other 
troubles soon beset this jubilee 
series. Since the sixpence had no 
value inscribed on it and was the 
same size and general appearance 
as the gold half sovereign, many 


gold plated specimens soon ap- 
peared. This, just four years alter 
the United States had the same ex- 
perience with the gold plating of 
our 1883 5# without the word CENTS. 

Lake us, Britain was forced to 
issue a trade dollar for the Orient, 
but continued to use it over a longer 
period. It appears with a standing 
figure of Brittania holding a trident 
and the inscription in three differ- 
ent languages. The mint mark on 
these coins is concealed on the cen- 
ter prong of the trident just try 
to find it. Coronation and specimen 
sets are issued as needed, but only 
two true English commemoratives 
are found in recent years, these 
being the crowns of 1935 and 1951. 
The 1935 crown shows a modern- 
istic St. George mounted upon a 
fantastic steed, slaying a vicious- 
looking dragon. 

Gold disappeared in 1933 along 
with ours, and only a few gold 
proofs for the coronation have been 
made until the recent large issue of 
Elizabeth sovereigns dated 1957. 
Some of the smaller coins one finds 
are groats or fourpence, threehalf- 
pence in silver, and half, third and 
quarter farthings in copper. Also 
the Maundy sets of fourpence, three- 
pence, twopence and a penny in 
silver are made each year and on 
Maundy Thursday are presented by 
the ruler in a religious ceremony 
dating back hundreds of years. 

Some of these sets are common and 
some are quite scarce since the 
quantity struck depend upon the 
age of the sovereign. 

Many English coins are of the 
lettered edge variety just as were 
many early United States issues. 
Numerous changes in silver content 
appear down through the years, and 
at present there is no silver in any 
regular denomination. The current 
aluminum bronze twelve-sided three- 
pence is a very unusual looking 
coin. Some of the devices most 
commonly used in design are the 
Tudor rose, Irish harp, Scottish 
thistle, English lion, the crown, and 
the old standby, St. George still 
attempting to slay his dragon. A 
Latin inscription is a necessity on 
all coins just as is our E PLURIBUS 
translated means "King of Britain 
by the Grace of God, Defender of 
the Faith and Emperor of India." 

My collection of English coins 
was greatly enhanced during a 
period spent in England in World 
War II. There was always a table 
with that famous G.I. pastime in 
progress and money from all over 
the world in evidence. One incident 
that comes to mind was when the 
Englishman in the crowd bet a 
pound on his hand, and the Texan 
drawled back, "I don't know what 
land of money that is, but 111 raise 
you a ton." 

Jixxon Medal 

The Juxon medal or five-broad piece weighs 732 grains and is unique. 
The obverse has the bust of Charles I uncrowned to the left; the reverse 
has the crowned shield with the FLORENT legend, and the mint mark 
of a rose, all of fine workmanship in high relief. The history of this splendid 
coin is doubly interesting ; Not only is it the finest specimen of the en- 
graver's skill but greater interest is attached to it on account of it having 
been presented by Charles I to Bishop Juxon, who attended him at the 
scaffold just before his execution. Its pedigree is well authenticated from 
the time it was received by the Bishop in 1649 until it reached the Mon- 
tague collection which was sold at auction in 1896, this particular piece 
being bought by Spink & Son for 770 pounds sterling. It now rests in the 
British Museum and of all the relics of the Stuart family there is none 
of greater interest. Excerpt from "Engravers of the Dies for British Coins" 
by W. G. Rayson, The Numismatist, April, 1939. 



Charles V. Kappen 

(Although the general content of this paper is concerned with that coinage 
of England indicated In the title, a short account of the early history of the 
minor English coinage, including coinage substitutes, is included as essential to 
a proper understanding.) 

Accounts of English coinage tell us that the earliest metals used 
were copper and tin. These were struck by the ancient Britons after the 
Roman invasion in Caesar's time. During the latter part of the occupa- 
tion, a native currency was used in addition to the Roman money. Made 
of copper, some of these coins were little larger than pin heads. Imperial 
Roman coins, current during the Roman occupation, later were struck in 
Britain by British rulers. During their reigns, these kings issued many 
types of third brass Roman coins. 

Frequently Anglo-Saxon coins were minted by individuals commis- 
sioned by the rulers as coiners. Their craftsmanship was crude in com- 
parison to that of antiquity and of their continental contemporaries. 

After the Roman exodus from England at the beginning of the fifth 
century, the earlier Northumberland kings and archbishops of York 
melted the Roman brass and billion coins and produced their own copper 
money until as late as 895 A.D. This Anglo-Saxon coinage was patterned 
after that used in the Byzantine Empire, and by the Merovingian kings. 

During the early part of the 10th century silver pennies replaced 
the copper coins, and sometime later silver halfpennies and farthings 
were added to the coinage. From Saxon times, some of the earlier silver 
pennies were cut into quarters and halves to provide small change, a 
practice which continued even after round farthings and halfpennies 
were introduced in the 13th century by Edward I. This coinage of silver 
or base silver small pieces continued until 1672, when, during the early 
part of the reign of Charles II, the inferior coins were made current in 

Substitutes for copper coins form an interesting story. Lack or 
inadequacy of small change had been felt throughout the Middle Ages. 
As the silver pieces were so tiny and so expensive to produce, too few- 
were coined to meet the demand. 

Tradesmen of the 16th century, in order to provide small change, 
issued lead tokens bearing various designs, such as initials and traders' 
marks. Though illegal, the practice was not suppressed. Queen Eliza- 
beth licensed the city of Bristol to produce tokens, and approved the 
striking of coins for Ireland in base silver and later in copper. 

She intended to strike copper coins for England, as an unpublished 
proclamation forbade tokens and legalized the halfpenny and farthing 
copper "pledges" as limited tender. Experimental and pattern half- 
pennies and farthings were struck in 1574 and subsequent years. The 
plan to make copper regal currency, however, did not materialize. Some 
copper patterns carry the inscription THE PLEDGE OF A PENN, 
indicating that they were tokens rather than current coins. The public 
looked with disfavor upon base metals, as Elizabethan England was 
flooded with inferior continental coins and tokens and abbey pieces. 
Elizabeth was unsuccessful in her attempts to halt production of lead 


tokens. She introduced a three-farthing silver piece, but it was un- 
popular and shortlived. 

James I was interested in the profit to be made from coining the 
minor pieces and also wanted to stop the issue of private tokens, as he 
considered them a breach of the royal prerogative. The noted Harington 
copper farthings, of six grains weight, were issued by letters patent 
granted to Lord Harington in 1613. Half the profits went to the king, 
in whose name they were struck and whose privy marks they carried. 
The type is two sceptres crowned on the obverse and a crowned harp on 
the reverse. There are many varieties and mintmarks of these tokens. 
They were thin, small, and irregularly struck, making counterfeiting 
simple. Upon Lord Harington's death in the same year he received the 
patent, it passed to his widow, who sold it to the Duke of Lennox and 
Richmond in 1615, at a small price. At the latter's death in 1624, the 
patent became the property of his widow. Lord Maltravers received the 
patent ten years later and in 1636 the harp on the reverse was replaced 
by a crowned rose. A brass center was set in the copper to discourage 
counterfeiting. Circulation of the Haringtons met with considerable 
resistance from the public. The Commonwealth seized the offices and 
patents in 1643. 

Despite their protection by law, these tokens were swallowed up by 
forgeries, marking as a failure the attempt at this time to farm out the 
copper token coinage to private monopolists. One reason for widespread 
counterfeiting was the big difference between nominal and intrinsic 
values. Patentee manipulation and the half-heartedness and greed of 
authorities made counterfeiting flourish during the reigns of Charles I 
and Charles IL Charles I proclaimed farthings lawful currency, and 
gave the Dowager Duchess of Richmond and Sir Francis Crane the right 
to coin them. One variety of these frequently met with has a crowned 
rose on both obverse and reverse. 

After the Civil War, pattern farthing pieces were issued from the 
mint by the Commonwealth government, but none of these was current, 
certainly not "regal," money. Tokens became increasingly prevalent. 

During the latter half of the 17th century, tradesmen again issued 
tokens or "traders" in great numbers, especially between 1648 and 1672. 
Town and village officials joined the trading public as issuers of tokens. 
Some pennies were made, but the bulk of the issue was in halfpenny or 
farthing denominations. The "traders" usually carry some trade device 
or guild arms on one side and the initials of the issuer and his wife on 
the other, surname above, Christian names below. The round form is 
commonest, but square, octagonal, and heart-shaped tokens were issued. 
Tavern signs are common. Town tokens bear name or initials of the 
mayor or some other prominent person of town, village, or church. 
Although the tokens were not legal, their circulation was widespread. 
They were not suppressed until a proclamation in 1672 forbade their use. 
The order was obeyed almost universally, although some cities were 
violators and had to be warned. 

In 1672, during the reign of Charles U, the first Knglish regal copper 
coins appeared. Farthings of 1671, though not issued for currency, did 
pass into use. By royal proclamation, halfpennies and farthings became 
regal tender for sums less than sixpence. Larger in size than the Har- 
ington tokens, these copper coins were produced on the basis of 20 pence 
to the pound avoirdupois. The halfpenny weighed 175 grains. 


It was on these halfpennies and farthings that the figure of 
Britannia, resembling the Britannia on the second century Roman coins 
of Hadrian 119-138 A.D. and Antoninus Pius, 140-155 A.D. first was 
adopted as the type of the English copper currency. The Roman coins 
issued both in copper and in silver commemorated the victories of 
Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, and many authorities believe the Britannia 
of Charles' time to have been copied from the earlier Roman Britannia. 
The original patterns for the coinage had the legend, QVATVOR MARIA 
VINDICO, meaning "I claim the four seas," which was omitted on the 
current coin, as Louis XIV resented it. Frances Stewart, mistress of 
Charles n and a renowned court beauty, who later became Duchess of 
Richmond, is said to have modeled the Britannia. Pepys, in his Diary, 
wrote on Feb. 6, 1666 (At that time the old year ended in March, not De- 
cember, so the year may have been 1667) : 

"At my goldsmiths, did observe the King's new medall, where in 
little there is Mrs. Stewart's face, as well done as ever I saw anything 
in my whole life, I think: and a pretty thing it is, that he should choose 
her face to represent Britannia by." Pepys undoubtedly wrote of a 
pattern, however, as the face on the coin is too small to make identifi- 
cation possible. Sir Charles Oman in "The Coinage of England," doubts 
that the Britannia is a portrait of Mrs. Stewart, but he is one of few 
authorities who question this. Although preceded by the Britannia on 
the second century Roman coin, Mrs. Stewart is believed by some to be 
the only commoner to be shown on the national coinage. However 
David Swanson of Seaby's, London, points out that the figure on the 
florin of Edward VII is thought to be a commoner. 

The first regal copper coins were made from Swedish copper, 
although English copper was used later on, and they were struck on 
cast blanks. A decided difference is made in the draping of the figure 
of Britannia on the two coins. On the farthing, Britannia's right leg is 
undraped and is thrust prominently forward. Both legs are covered on 
the halfpenny. The legend on the obverse reads CAROLVS. A. CAROLO, 
meaning "Charles from Charles." Charles' bust is in Roman armor, his 
head laureated. On the reverse, Britannia is seated to the left. A shield 
which bears the combined crosses of St. George and St. Andrew leans 
against her. Her left hand, reaching down, holds the middle of a spear. 
In her raised right hand she holds a spray of leaves, possibly a palm 
branch. The date is below a single exergue line. Britannia is seated on 
a spherical support which represents the globe. In the oval garnished 
shield of the "Union," is the first Union Jack. The saltire cross of St. 
Patrick of Ireland was added in 1801. 

Tin farthings were struck in 1684 and 1685, containing a copper 
center core and the date and words NVMMORVM FAMVLVS (a sub- 
sidiary coinage) on the edge. This was an unsuccessful measure taken 
by Charles to discourage forgers, as well as to make more money, since 
tin offered a 40 per cent profit. 

The halfpenny and farthing in tin with a square plug of copper in 
the center were struck during the reign of James II and the early years 
of William and Mary. The edge legend used by Charles was retained. 
James issued these two denominations in tin only. In two years, 1690-91, 
during the reign of William and Mary, the profit realized from using tin 
was nearly $52,000. Tin was abandoned in 1692 because of deterioration 


due to oxidation, and in 1693 copper was used again, at first under a 
patent granted to Andrew Corbet, In 1694, the mint resumed the coinage 
of halfpennies and farthings, and they were issued in great numbers until 
1700. Since 1694, inferior coins have been struck in copper or bronze. 

On the coins of William III and Mary, the busts of king and queen 
are side by side, William wearing armor, Mary a mantle. On the farth- 
ing, Britannia still appears with one leg bare. 

In 1694 copper farthings and halfpennies were struck from dies 
similar to those used in the tin coinage, the main difference being that 
the edge legend was left off. 

After Mary's death the coinage again was farmed out to patentees, 
who cast, rather than struck, the copper pieces, a practice which resulted 
in a profit increase. The king's bust was in Roman armor, with head 
laureated. The date on the farthings was placed after the legend, 
BRITANNIA, while on the halfpennies it was in the exergue. 

No halfpennies were coined during Anne's reign, although half- 
penny patterns were struck. Many varieties of pattern farthings exist, 
most of them struck, after the queen's death, from dies prepared during 
her lifetime. The only copper coin issued for circulation during Anne's 
reign was the farthing of 1714. Some authorities hold that the Anne 
farthings of 1714 were not issued officially for currency, but "passed 
into use." Despite the argument of Dean Swift that copper coins should 
portray historical events, Britannia remained as the copper type. 

Queen Anne farthings are not rare although such coins in really nice 
condition are scarce. It would be difficult to explain the fantastic value 
attributed to them during the 19th century. Some say many were 
hoarded as souvenirs to commemorate the queen's death shortly after 
their issue. One story tells of a single coin bringing $1600. A Dublin 
court trial in 1814 records a prosecution "for borrowing and detaining" 
an Anne farthing. It was said that after three coins had been struck 
the dies were broken and that a $2,000 reward was offered for recovery 
of a lost specimen. This story by the counsel for the prosecution actually 
was believed by judge and jury. The defendant, found guilty, was sen- 
tenced to Newgate for 12 months, and had to raise sureties totaling $320. 
Three years after George I became king farthings and halfpennies 
were struck. On the obverse is the king's bust, to the right, with short 
hair, laureated, and in armor. The design was by John Croker. These 
coins date from 1717 to 1724, inclusive, except there was no farthing in 
1718. The halfpennies of 1717 and 1718 and the farthings of 1717 are 
known as the "dump" issues, because of the dumpy shape of the coins. 
Although Jacobites and others argued that the public was being cheated 
by less copper being placed in the coins, it was the surface area, not the 
weight, that was reduced. The coins were a little smaller and thicker and 
bore a smaller bust. In any event, they were only "token" currency. 

Two major types of regal copper coins were struck in the reign of 
George II. The first type, engraved by John Croker, is called the "young 
head" because of the youthful bust of the king. It was ordered while 
George was absent in Germany. The halfpenny first was issued in 1729, 
the farthing in 1730. From 1740 to 1754 an issue was made from new 
dies engraved by John Tanner, and is now known to collectors as "old 
head." Because of widespread forgery, the copper coinage of the reign 
came to an end in 1754. There had been little counterfeiting during the 


reign of George I, as pure copper was used, but forgeries "were common 
in the reign of George n. Of the remedies suggested to the king in 
petitions on the subject, the most frequent was that the denomination of 
the current coins be lowered to bring the nominal and intrinsic values 
closer together. Copper coinage received more attention during this reign 
than previously. The many patterns struck show both industry and 
talent. Among the engravers employed were Droz, Pingo, and Kuchler. 

For ten years after his accession to the throne in 1760, George III 
issued no copper coins. Like his predecessors, he thought the subject of 
coinage in inferior metals to be beneath his dignity. However, copper 
coins were struck from the 1754 dies of George n. In 1770 the first half- 
penny of George in appeared, followed the next year by the farthing. 
Because of extensive counterfeiting, copper coinage was suspended in 
1775. On the first issue, the bust of George is to the right, laureled, and 
in armor. Pinkerton, a numismatist of the period, held the coins in low 
esteem. "The first half -pence," he wrote, "present such a face as human 
creature never wore, jutting out something in the likeness of a macaw 
. . . the decline of the money is justly esteemed a sure symptom of the 
decline of the state. Some grey-haired medallists, from this circum- 
stance, foretold the loss of America and all the calamities which, during 
this reign, have hastened the decline of Britain's glory." 

Forgery led to an end of copper coinage, which in its turn, led to the 
reappearance of trade tokens. The Anglesey Copper Mining Co. pennies 
and halfpennies, issued first in 1784, led the parade of 18th century 
private tokens. The Angleseys carry the sign of the Druid's head and 
the cipher of the Parys Mines Co. The many tokens which followed 
them bear various devices, among them arms and historical or mythical 
persons of significance to the place of issue. Coventry, for example, pic- 
tured Lady Godiva ; Lancaster, John of Gaunt ; and Reading, King Alfred. 

Counterfeiting, presenting the greatest obstacle to copper currency, 
was responsible for issues being halted in 1754. Although counterfeiting 
of gold and silver was high treason, the forging of copper was only a 
misdemeanor. In 1742 two years' imprisonment was meted out to vio- 
lators, but this did not stop the practice. Blank flans, made especially 
for the purpos.e, were manufactured and sold to coiners, who in turn 
sold them to wholesalers at one-half face value. Retailers paid approxi- 
mately two -thirds face value for them and passed them at face value 
to their customers. Before 1797, half the copper coins in use were 
counterfeits, and it has been said that there were as many forgers as 
mint workers producing them. It was a profitable business and the cur- 
rent copper was easy to forge. Punishment was light. A pamphlet 
recording trials at the Old Bailey, dated December, 1795, tells of the 
trial of one John Gilbert charged that he did "sell, pay and put off 357 
pieces of false counterfeit copper money to the likeness of halfpennies 
to Edward Rogers for 8/-." Gilbert drew a penalty of one year in prison 
and a fine of one shilling. In the same pamphlet the record of another 
trial tells that one Peter Chambers, convicted of stealing a few bottles of 
wine, was deported for seven years. 

In 1797 the first English regal copper penny was coined. The same 
year marked the first and last appearance of a copper twopenny piece. 
Because of their size, these coins are known as the "cartwheels." The 
penny weighs one ounce, the twopence, two ounces. Laid side by side, 


eight twopenny pieces measure 12 inches. In earlier times, coins con- 
tained their full or approximate metal values: the sovereign, 20 shillings 
of gold; the crown, five shillings of silver. Because of their incon- 
venient sizes, the cartwheels were discontinued after one year of issue. 
Halfpenny and farthing patterns were issued in the same type in 1799. 

Matthew Boulton of Soho, near Birmingham, minted both pennies 
and twopenny pieces under a royal warrant from George HI. It has 
been said that the royal mint was not equipped to make them and that 
Boulton alone was capable of their production. He was able to buy 
copper for less than its cost to the government and his eight steam 
coining presses minted twopenny pieces at a rate of 50 a minute. The 
first coiner to use steam equipment, Boulton and Watt, an associate, had 
produced tokens of superior quality during the '80s and '90s. Forgers 
found it difficult to copy and to profit from his coins, which were of 
good weight. Counterfeiting died out after their appearance. Circula- 
tion of tokens stopped also. 

Conrad H. Kuchler, Boulton's engraver, designed the cartwheels as 
well as the copper coins of 1799 and 1806. Kuchler was the first artist 
to portray Britannia as ruler of the waves. This he did by replacing the 
spear with a trident, and adding a three-mast sailing ship and sea. 
Seated on a promontory of rocks, Britannia is shown facing to the left. 
She holds a spray of leaves in her right hand, the trident in her left. An 
oval shield of the union leans against the rocks. On a rock near the base 
of the shield, in minute letters, is the word SOHO. On the broad rim, in 
sunk letters, appears BRITANNIA, 1797. On the obverse is the king's 
bust, facing right, laureled and draped. In sunk or incuse letters on a 
broad, raised rim, is the inscription, GEORGIUS III. D:G. REX. 

The ratio of pennies to twopences is variously given as 48-1 and 
60-1. Dickinson, a biographer of Boulton, says 40 tons of twopennies and 
1226 tons of pennies were struck. Boulton in a letter places the penny 
issue at 45 million pieces. If Dickinson's figure for the twopenny piece is 
correct, that denomination would number 716,800. Neither coin is rare, 
probably because many were saved as souvenirs and few were lost be- 
cause of their size. 

The next issue of copper, consisting of halfpennies and farthings, 
appeared in 1799. On the reverse, the waves of the sea follow the curve 
of the coin. It is said that this design was meant to be incorporated 
into the halfpenny of 1797, as the curved base would have matched 
better the broad rim of that type. The ship is a man-of-war. The 
slightly hollowed edge is milled diagonally. In 1806 and 1807 a new 
copper issue was made, and pennies, halfpennies and farthings were 
coined. Like the issue of 1799, the bust is smaller than that appearing 
on the cartwheels. Again the bust faces the right, is draped and laur- 
eled. It differs from the two preceding issues in that the drapery is 
looped to the shoulder where it is held by an ornament containing nine 
beads. On oblique lines which shade the truncation of the shoulder is 
the letter K after which is placed a dot. 

George IV's first copper issue, in 1821, was of farthings only, as 
the design by Benedetto Pistrucci displeased the king. For the first time 
Britannia is helmeted. New dies were engraved by William Wyon from 
which pennies, halfpennies and farthings were struck in 1825. The new 
design contains a smaller bust with neck undraped, the head presenting 


a less heavy effect. A six-petaled flower divides date from inscription on 
each side. The reverse, too, is changed. Britannia faces right and the 
olive branch is missing. The head and paw of a lion which appear on 
the first issue are missing, and in the exergue appears the national 
emblem, composed of intertwined rose, thistle and shamrock. 

William IV retained the reverse design of the second type copper 
coins of George IV. On the obverse, the king's head faces right, without 
crown, laurels, or drapery. The initials of William Wyon, the engraver, 
are on the truncation of the neck. The short reign of William IV, from 
1830 to 1837, accounts in part for the scarcity in fine condition of his 

Under Victoria, the three denominations of former reigns were 
repeated, supplemented by third-farthings struck for use in Malta, and 
half-farthings and quarter-farthings struck for use in Ceylon. By 
proclamation in 1842, half-farthings were made current in England, but 
they never came into general use. George IV and William IV had issued 
third and half-farthings for colonial use. 

The first, or copper, issue of Victoria portrays a youthful bust of 
the queen, facing left. Her wavy hair, crossed by ribbons, forms a knot 
at the back of her head, from which a loose curl falls. Wyon's initials 
are on the truncation until 1858, in which year they are both present 
and absent. In 1859 and 1860, the truncation is plain on the penny. 
Although ornamented trident only is used on the reverse of halfpenny 
and farthing, plain and ornamented tridents are used on the penny, the 
latter from 1839 until 1853. From 1853 to 1857, inclusive, the trident 
appears both plain and ornamented. The coins of 1858-60, inclusive, 
bear the ornamented type only. 

Copper currency was replaced in 1860 by bronze which consisted of 
95 parts copper, 4 parts tin, and 1 part zinc. The substitution was made 
because bronze is harder and more durable, allowing the coins to be 
made thinner and of lighter weight. Another reason sometimes advanced 
is that bronze coins are freer from an unpleasant odor. Bronze patterns 
were struck by the mint in 1857, 1859, and 1860, anticipating the 

Type collectors of the copper series will do well to follow the five 
classifications of Ernest Bramah in his "English Regal Copper Coins.*' 
As variety headings Bramah lists errors, corrected errors, altered dates, 
irregular punctuation, and miscellaneous. 

Though few in number, errors are the easiest to classify. In chrono- 
logical order, the best known errors are: The 1672 and 1673 halfpennies 
of Charles EC, on which the first word of the inscription reads CR AOLVS ; 
the 1673 farthing of Charles II with the last word reading CAROLA; 
the 1673 farthing with BRITINNIA in the inscription; the 1696 half- 
penny of William III with inscription reading GVLIELMVS TERTVS; 
the 1697 farthing of William 3H, inscription, GVTJT,EMVS; the 1699 
halfpenny of William IH, reading BRITANIA; the 1700 farthing of 
William m, inscription misspelled RRITANNIA; the 1700 halfpenny 
reading GVL.IELMS; the 1700 halfpenny with the inscription 
GVLIEEMVS; the 1730 George II halfpenny with name misspelled 
GEOGIVS; the 1772 George IH halfpenny with name misspelled 
GEORIVS ; the 1844 Victoria third-farthing minus G on reverse and with 


second colon omitted; and the 1856 farthing with name misspelled 

Altered dates, or over dates, also present a short list: The 1721 
farthing and halfpenny of George I altered from 1720, the former in 
two, and latter in three varieties; the 1734 halfpenny of George n 
altered from 1733 ; the 1739 George II halfpenny altered from 1735 ; the 
1754 George n farthing altered from 1750 ; the Victoria penny of 1848, 
altered from 1846; the same date altered from 1847 (2 varieties); the 
1854 from 1853 penny; the 1860 from 1859 penny; the 1848 from 1847 
halfpenny (3 varieties); the 1858 from 1857 halfpenny; and the 1859 
from 1858 halfpenny. 

By "corrected error," Bramah means a die error was discovered 
and corrected before it was used in coinage. One letter, cut in error, 
shows under another, cut to correct it. This type error occurs in all 
reigns except those of Anne and George III. 

Irregular punctuation accounts for many varieties. Missing periods 
are frequent, especially in the reigns of William and Mary, William m, 
and Victoria. 

As miscellaneous, Bramah includes spacing differences, missing or 
irregular serifs, double cuts, irregular inversion, and varied design. 

The copper coin, leaving the British scene in 1860, is now a col- 
lectors* item. The tiny coppers of Roman occupation, the cartwheels of 
the 18th century, and the farthings of the Victorian shopkeeper were an 
integral part of Britain's life . . . the lowly cogs of England's economy. 


Batty, D. T. Descriptive Catalogue of the Copper Coinage of Great Britain. 

Bramah, Ernest. English Regal Copper Coins. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd. 

Brooke, George C. English Coins. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd. Second 

Edition, 1942. ' 

Burgess, Fred W. Chats on Old Coins. London: T. Fisher Unwin. 1913. 
Garside, Henry. British Imperial Copper and Bronze Coinage, 1838-1920. 1920. 
Montagu, H. The Copper, Tin and Bronze Coinage and Patterns for Coins of 

England. London: Bernard Quaritch. Second Ed., 1893. 
Oman. C. The Coinage of England. 1931. 
Pinkerton, John. An Essay on Medals. 1808. 
Rawlings, Gertrude B. The Story of the British Coinage. London: George 

Newnes, Ltd. 1898. 
Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin: 

Askew, Gilbert. "The Coinage of Roman Britain/' Feb., 1949, p. 50, Mar., 
1949, p. 108. 

Dausay, John M. Twopence, 1797. July, 1946, p. 7. 

Wells, Edgar. Concerning Coppers. August, 1947, p. 319. 

Wells, Edgar. Thoughts of the Copper Twopence. March, 1948, p. 110. 

Burnham, Paul. Farthings. April, 1948, p. 152. 

Wells, Edgar. The Old Bailey Deals with a Coiner. May, 1948, p. 204. 

Swanson, David. Who Was Britannia f July, 1948, p. 310. 

Peck, C. W. English Regal Copper Coins, under Coin Day, 1948. August, 
1948, p. 350. 

Mason, C. L. "Current Pennies," a talk, under London N. C., account of 
club meeting. November, 1948, p. 504. 

Potter, G. R. L. Cartwheel Twopence, 1797. December, 1948, p. 555. 

Wells, Edgar. Mr. Pepys and the Coins of the Restoration. February, 1949, 

Thorburn, W. S. Coins of Great Britian and Ireland. 1884. 



Raymond J. Walker 

The following paragraphs on the mottoes and inscriptions found on the 
coins of England are based upon a single evening of research into this in- 
teresting subject. There may be omissions, but it is believed that most of 
the common mottoes have been included. Mottoes became popular back in 
Plantagenet times and some one at the court of Edward III, 1327-1377, 
should be credited with establishing mottoes that are still retained in an 
abbreviated form. On a gold noble of the fourth coinage of Edward III, 
before the Treaty of Bretigny, 1351-1360, we find a quotation from the Gos- 
pel of St. Luke, iv, 30 on the reverse of the coin: "But Jesus passing through 
the midst of them went His way." The Latinized inscription reads: IHC. 
that may be classed among the freaks of numismatics. On the obverse there 
is a half-length portrait of the King with sword and shield standing in a 
ship. On some of the coins the sword is behind the King's arm. The same 
quotation from St. Luke was used by Henry VIII on the sovereigns of his 
second and third coinage; also by Edward VI on the reverse of the sovereign 
of his fourth coinage, and by Elizabeth on her hammered coinage of gold 
ryals, first issue, 1560-1572. 

Henry VI, 1422-1461, has this legend on the reverse of a gold angel: PER 
CRVSE TVA SALVA NOS XPC REDEMT (By Thy Cross, Save Us, O Christ, 
Our Redeemer.) This coin was struck at Bristol. The same motto was 
used by Richard III, 1483-1485, and by the Tudor monarchs, Henry VII 
and Henry VIII on their gold angels. The angel was so-called from the 
figure of the Archangel St. Michael piercing the dragon, which appears on 
the obverse of these coins. On a quarter-noble struck in gold by Henry VI 
we find the reverse motto reads: EXALT ABITVR * IN. GLORIA (He Shall 
Be Exalted in Glory). 

Edward IV, 1461-1483, struck coins in gold known as rose nobles or ryals. 
The rose and sun was the badge of this King, which he is said to have 
adopted because of the appearance of three suns in the heavens immediately 
before his first battle, that of Mortimer's Cross, 1460, in which he was 
successful. Mock suns is a phenomenon beyond the scope of this article, 
but he actually saw what appeared to be three suns, and it wasn't all a 
figment of his imagination. On a half rose noble of this monarch we find 
a quotation from Psalms vi, 1: "O Lord, Rebuke Me Not in Thine Indigna- 
tion." It actually appears on the coin in Latin: DOMINE NE IN FURORE 
TVO ARGVAS ME. On a silver groat of the same reign we find the motto: 
POSVI DEUM ADIVTORE MEUM (I Have Made God My Helper) . The 
latter motto was also used by Henry VIII on his shilling or testoon in the 
third coinage of his reign (1543). 

The earliest English coin with a date, 1494, was the Tournai groat struck 
in the Low Countries for the Pretender, Perkin Warbeck, who landed in 
Cornwall and was executed in 1499. The motto on the obverse of this 
groat is: DOMINE SALVVM FACI REGEM (Lord, Save the King), and on 
the reverse is the famous handwriting on the wall quotation which appeared 
before the fall of Babylon: MANEL. TECKEL. PHARES. The words on 
the coin are punctuated with double barred crosses. Now it would appear 
tnat the title of the English national anthem "God Save the King" originat- 
ed with this doubtful English groat struck in a foreign land, but if we look 
backward it is but an abbreviated form of the personal prayer of Henry VI 
inscribed on the angel. 

The Tudors, Henry VII and Henry VIII, followed the mottoes of the 
Plantagenet kings, and we may pass on to the coins of Edward VI, 1546- 
1553, who had inscribed on a gold half-sovereign of his second coinage the 
motto: SCVTVM FIDEI PROTEGET EVM (The Shield of Faith Shall Pro- 
tect Him). This is on the obverse, and the usual titular legend, EDWARD 
VI DG AGL FRA Z HIB REX (Edward VI by the Grace of God of England, 
France and Ireland, King) is found on the reverse. On a silver shilling of 
.this King the reverse motto consists of a quotation from Proverbs xiv, 27 


and date: TIMOR DOMINI FONS VITE MDXLIX (1549) (The Fear of the 
word is a Fountain of Life). 

Mary, 1553-1558, has a quotation from Psalms cxviii, 23, on the reverse 
of her gold sovereign of 1553: A DNO FACTV EST ISTV Z EST MIRA IN 
OCVL NRIS (This Is the Lord's Doing and It Is Marvelous in Our Eyes). 
This same inscription was used on her gold angels and on her later angels 
sponsored by herself and her husband, Philip of Spain. On her silver groat 
she went in for a bit of propaganda and alluded to her attempts at a recon- 
ciliation with Rome: VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA (Truth, the Daughter of 
Time). On the Philip and Mary shilling of 1555 we find the old "I Have 
Made God My Helper" quotation. 

Elizabeth, 1558-1602, in addition to the old St. Luke quotation of the days 
of Edward Ill's noble coinage, used a modification of Edward VI's: "The 
Shield of Faith Shall Protect Her," the Latin EAM taking the place of EVM. 
This motto was also used on her pound sovereign, a hammered gold coin, is- 
sued from 1592 to 1601. On her angels, also coins of hammered gold, struck 
from 1558 to 1578, she used Mary's quotation from Psalm cxviii, 23, but 
omitted the words "in our eyes." In 1561 milled gold coinage was intro- 
duced into England from France by Eloye Mestrell. On these coins, such as 
half sovereigns, crowns and half crowns, we find: "The Shield of Faith Will 
Protect Her." On both her hammered and milled silver coins Elizabeth 
used "I Have Made God My Helper." On a pattern groat of 1601 the motto 
reads: AFFLICTORVM. CONSRVATRIX (Preserver of the Afflicted), and 
on another pattern coin, probably a farthing, in silver, we meet with the 
popular "God Save the Queen," a variation of Perkin Warbeck's "Lord, 
Save the King," and a shortening of Henry VI's prayer motto. 

James I, 1603-1625, who ruled a united Britain, referred to his position 
by using the quotation from Ezekiel xxxvii, 22: FACIAM. EOS. IN GENTEM. 
VNAM (I Will Make Them One Nation). The entire verse reads: "I will 
make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one 
King shall be King to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, 
neither shall be divided into two Kingdoms any more at all." This motto 
was used on his gold unite (unity) of the second issue, 1604-1619. It was 
also used on his gold laurel, a twenty-shilling piece, which also gives us the 
first example of the laureate bust on English coinage. James took great 
delight in being represented as the "Caesar Augustus" of Britain. On his 
gold double crown for 1605-6 he used the motto: HENRICUS. ROSAS. 
REGNA. IACOBUS (Henry (united) the Roses, James the Kingdoms), re- 
ferring to the union of the white and red roses of Lancaster and York in 
the person of Henry VII, and the union of the kingdoms of Scotland and 
England in the person of James I. This motto was also used on the gold 
half laurel or ten-shilling piece of James I. 

On his thistle crown, struck in gold, which had the English rose on the 
obverse and the Scotch thistle on the reverse, he used the motto: TVEATUR. 
VNITA. DEVS (May God Guard These United, i. e. Kingdoms). On his 
gold rose ryals of 1605 to 1619, he made use of the old quotation from 
Psalms used by Mary and included "in our eyes," which had been omitted 
by Elizabeth. The same quotation mottoed his gold spur ryals of 1605 and 
1606, his gold angels of 1607 and the gold rose ryal or 30-shilling piece 
issued from 1619 to 1625, On his silver crowns this "educated fool" 
further extended his pedantry, using a quotation from Psalms Ixviii, 1: 
Enemies Be Scattered). On his silver penny the obverse motto reads: l.D.G. 
ROSA SINE SPINA (James by the Grace of God, a Rose without a Thorn) 
and on the reverse the Latin equivalent of "May God Guard These United." 
It is possible that this coin inspired the line in Robert Herrick's (1591-1674) 
"The Rose/' in which the poet writes: "But ne'er the rose without the 
thorn." On a silver crown of the second issue, 1604 to 1625, there is a 
quotation from Matthew xix, 6, that well known command from the wedding 
ritual- "What God Hath Joined Together, Let No Man Put Asunder." In 
Latin it reads: QVAE DEVS CONIVNXIT NEMO SEPARET. The coin, 
however, probably refers to the union of England and Scotland. Farthings 
of copper struck by patent granted to Lord Harrington of Exton have on the 
obverse two sceptres beneath a crown which are symbolic of the united 

Charles I, 1625-1648, struck gold unites of twenty shillings at the Tower 


Mint. These coins had the mint mark of a Negro head on both sides, and 
the reverse motto reads: FLORENT CONCORDIA REGNA (United King- 
doms Flourish). Gold crowns of the first issue struck at the same mint in 
1635 have a motto on the reverse which reads: CVLTORES. SVI DEVS. 
PROTEGIT (God Protects His Worshippers). On a silver crown of 1630 
we find a reverse motto: CHRISTO.AVSPICE.REGNO (I Reign Under the 
Auspices of Christ), referring to the divine right of kings, and the same 
motto appears on subsequent issues of crowns in this reign. On a penny of 
1630 the reverse motto is: IVSTITIA. THRONVM. FIRMA (Justice Strength- 
ens the Throne). 

Nicholas Briot at the Tower mint struck coins by machinery from 1632 
to 1638. His double crown or ten shillings in gold has the "God Protects 
His Worshippers" motto, and the silver crown has the "Reign Under the 
Auspices of Christ" inscription. A pattern half groat in silver by Briot has 
a reverse motto, FIDEI.DEFENSOR (Defender of the Faith), a title granted 
first to Henry VIII by the Pope for his early defense of the Church of Rome 
against Lutheranism. 

Charles I, before the battle of Wellington, September 19, 1642, declared 
that if successful he would protect the Protestant religion, laws of England 
and liberties of Parliament. A coin of three pounds struck in gold at the 
Oxford mint in that year has this promise confirmed in the inscription: 
ANGLIAE, LIBERTAS PARLIAMENT!. Also on the reverse is the quota- 
tion from Psalms Ixviii, 1: "Let God Arise, etc." The declaration also ap- 
pears on the gold unite struck at Oxford in 1644 and on the Oxford pound 
struck in silver dated 1642 and on other coins, including the silver shilling 
from the same mint in the same year. On this King's half crown struck at 
York he used the motto "I reign, etc." On a shilling struck at Pontefract 
Castle in 1648, during the defense by Colonel Morrice against Cromwell 
himself, the motto was: DVM: SPIRO: SPERO ( Whilst I Live I Hope). 
When the king was beheaded the Colonel surrendered, but not before a 
shilling was struck for Charles II. On the marriage of Charles I and Henri- 
etta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France, June 13, 1625. a silver medal 
was struck bearing a motto modified from Virgil's Aeneid. xii. 68: FVXDIT. 
AMOR. LILIA. MIXTA. ROSIS (Love Pours Out Lilies Mingled With Roses). 
The Commonwealth of England was not an atheist-inspired government 
as were the later great revolutionary republics of France and Russia. This 
is attested by the motto on the reverse of a gold twenty-shilling piece of 
1653: GOD WITH VS. This motto was used in modern times by Germany 
in the form of "GOTT MIT UNS." Mill and screw coinage came into Eng- 
land under the Commonwealth. Blondeau was the designer. A pattern 
shilling of 1651 for England and Ireland had on the reverse an angel stand- 
ing holding the shields of St. George and Hibernia and the motto: GAVRDED 
WITH ANGELES. 1651. This piece was designed by Ramage. 

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1656-1658, returned to Latin mottoes 
and his gold broad or sovereign of 1656 has on the reverse: PAX. 
QVAERITUR. BELLO (Peace Is Sought by War). On his silver crown of 
1658 the edge was lettered with the inscription: HAS. NISI. PERITVRVS. 
MIHIADIMAT. NEMO (Let No One Remove These (letters) From Me Under 
Penalty of Death). This was to prevent clipping or the practice of shaving 
a little metal from each coin that passed through the hands of certain 
money changers. 

The gold coronation medal of Charles II, 1660-1665, was designed by 
Thomas Simon and bears his initials T. S. The reverse has the motto: 
a Fallen Age, 23 April, 1661). The regnal year of Charles II was reckoned 
from the death of Charles I. On a hammered crown of Charles II. also by 
Simon, we find the old motto of his father: "United Kingdoms Flourish." 
On a silver half groat "I reign, etc." was used as the motto. The milled 
coinage of the period 1661-1684 was from dies by Jan Roettier, of Antwerp, 
and they were struck with the mill and screw by Blondeau. On a five- 
guinea gold piece of 1684, so-called because the gold came from Guinea, 
the edge was lettered: DECVS.ET.TVTAMEN (An Ornament and a Safe- 
guard) from Virgil's Aeneid, v. 262, and ANNO. REGNI.TRICESIMO. SEXTO. 
The "ornament and safeguard" motto had been used as early as 1662 to 
protect a silver crown. In 1684 a farthing of pewter with a copper stud 


in the center, this center placed before striking, was issued with a lettered 
edge: NVMMORVM.FAMVLVS (The Servant of the Coinage). The cele- 
brated petition crown by Thomas Simon, 1663, has the motto of the Order 
of the Garter: HONI SOIT QVI MALY PENSEJ (Evil to Him Who Evil 
Thinks). This famous designer also submitted a silver farthing pattern 
dated 1665 having a reverse motto: QVATUR. MARIA. VINDICO (I Claim 
the Four Seas). This motto gave offense to Louis XIV of France, and to 
avoid diplomatic quibbling the pattern was not adopted. Britannia appears 
on the coin and this was probably the beginning of Britannia rules the waves. 

The coins of James II, 1685-1688, have the same edge-lettering as those 
of the preceding reign. The same mottoes continued under William and 
Mary, 1689-1694. However, there were pattern coins in which the designers 
showed a bit of imagination. A halfpenny struck in silver has a reverse 
motto of: HISCE SVFFVLTA (Supported by These) meaning the design 
a crown supported by three pillars inscribed: RELIGIO LEX. ET"LIBERTAS 
(Religion, Law and Liberty). Another pattern penny showing the French 
flagship "Le Soleil Royal" on fire has the motto: IGNIBVS.IMPAR (Unequal 
to Fire). Still another pattern has the inscription: IVNGIT.AMOR.PATRIAE 
Q. SALUS (The Love and Safety of Their Country Unite Them). The design 
shows two arms issuing from clouds and uniting to grasp a sceptre which 
passes through a crown. A farthing of half brass and half copper struck 
in this reign has the motto NON DEVIO (I Do Not Swerve). 

Anne, 1707-1714, also continued the use of the edge lettering as prac- 
ticed in the days of Charles II. "An Ornament and a Safeguard" is found 
on the edge of the Vigo crown struck in 1703 from silver taken at Vigo 
in 1702. 

George I, 1714-1727, revived F. D. (Defender of the Faith) and made 
it part of the titular legend on the obverse of his gold five-guinea piece of 
1720. George II, "snuffy old drone from the German hive," 1727-1760, 
has the word LIMA on his gold guinea of 1745, which indicates that it was 
part of Anson's loot brought back from the west coast of South America 
via the Cape of Good Hope. Silver coins of this reign also bear the word 
LIMA, indicating they were made from part of the booty. 

George III, 1760-1820, did nothing new in the way of mottoes. A pattern 
coin by Wm. Wyon in 1817 offered: FOEDUS INVIOLABILE (An Inviolable 
Treaty). On a halfpenny of 1788 a new edge inscription of Biblical origin 

George IV, 1820-1830, and William IV, 1830-1837, did nothing in the 
way of new numismatic mottoes, and Victoria, 1837-1902, gained some 
notoriety when the long titular legend was cut to "VICTORIA REGINA 
1849" on a florin that was called the Godless florin. C. H. Weiner, engraver 
of the Belgian mint, submitted a design for a shilling in 1865 with a solu- 
tion for a short motto, "VICTORIA DEI GRATIA," including the fact that 
the Queen existed by God's grace. 

The Bible and Virgil seem to have been the only sources of mottoes used 
on English coins, and the famous "God save the King" probably originated 
in a mediaeval oath of a Plantagenet who swore by the Cross and Christ his 
Redeemer and prayed for salvation. By the Rood was another form of the 
polite oaths used also as a battle cry, and By God's Wounds in time became 
Zounds. So did the prayer in time develop or rather diminish to plain GOD 



P. K. Anderson 

Since publication of the article on 
"The Coinage of Spain" in The 
Numismatist for January, 1953, I 
have received numerous letters of 
inquiry on various phases of Span- 
ish coinage. At least a dozen of 
them had questions concerning the 
multiple counters tamps on the cop- 
per coinage of Philip IV and most 
requested additional information. 
Unfortunately, I know very little 
about the subject and the only 
information I have was obtained 
from the works of Alois Heiss who 
published a three-volume general 
description of the "Monedas His- 
pano-Cristiano" in Madrid in 1865. 
Under the circumstances all I can 
do is translate that part of Heiss 
which is pertinent and to give a 
description of the various counter- 
stamps that I have in my own col- 
lection. A rather free translation 
of Heiss follows; I have done this 
because a literal translation would 
be stilted and a free one gives the 
same results: 

An ordinance of August 7, 1628, di- 
rected that the copper coinage be re- 
duced to one-half of what it had been 
previously by which it would return 
to the value that it had before the 
year 1602, in which year Philip III 
had doubled the value of all of the 
copper coinage. 

An ordinance issued in Madrid, 
dated March 12, 1636, ordered that all 
of the count erstamped copper coinage 
be gathered together to be re-counter- 
stamped at the mints, by which man- 
ner those that had been valued at four 
maravedises would rise to 12 and 
those of two to six with two counter- 
stamps; one of which would be the 
year crowned and the other the value 
so that each piece would have the two 
counterstamps in addition t^ the old 

On April 30, 1636, there was pub- 
lished a decree fixing at 25% the 
premium on the exchange of copper 

for silver or gold. A decree of Janu- 
ary 29, 1638, commands that the 
copper money which circulates in this 
kingdom is being consumed under 
present methods and for this orders 
are as follows: "suspend generally all 
of the money of copper which has not 
been counterstamped and in order 
that our subjects do not experiment 
to the detriment of their means there 
is proposed the expedient that they 
make and receive payments from The 
Royal Treasury in copper bullion.*' 

The premium for the exchange of 
copper into silver was fixed at 50% 
by decree on September 7, 1641. An- 
other decree on October 27th of the 
same year, sent from Madrid, ordered 
that the pieces of money, of two and 
four maravedises, from the Segovia 
mint be counterstamped and those of 
two pass at six and those of four at 

By ordinance dated in Zaragoza 
August 31, 1642, the value of the 
copper coins was reduced to one-sixth 
part so that pieces of twelve mara- 
vedises circulated for two maravedises. 

An ordinance from Valladolid dated 
March 12, 1643, ordered that "the 
ancient money of copper (that had 
been counterstamped in Valladolid in 
the year 1602, and afterwards by 
mandate of 1636, increasing its value 
to 12 and six maravedises and which 
had been later reduced to two and one 
maravedi) from this day circulate and 
be valued at eight and four mara- 
vedises not including those of the 
mint at Segovia recently counter- 

On November 11, 1651, an ordinance 
was published commanding that all of 
the copper coins return to the value 
they had before the reduction of Sep- 
tember 15, 1642, except the ancient 
coins struck before the year 1597 
which were to circulate at four and 
eight maravedises as before and the 
premium for silver not to exceed 50%. 

A decree dated June 25, 1652, re- 
duced to one-fourth the heavy coins 
struck in Segovia. 

The ordinance published in Madrid 
November 14, 1652, ordered that the 


coins commonly called "calderilla" 
not circulate as money and the heavy 
coppers of Segovia circulate without 
limit, silver and gold to have no 
premium and doubloons (de a dos) 
not to be valued at more than 28 

On the 19th of this same month and 
year the ordinance of November 14, 
1652, was suspended in that part con- 
cerning the premium. 

In the year 1654 it was ordered that 
the ancient money called "calderilla" 
be returned to circulation at the value 
it had before and that it again be 
counterstamped, returning to the 
owners one-half of its value and the 
government retaining the other half. 

On October 30, 1658, it was ordered 
that the heavy copper coins be de- 
stroyed and in their place others be 
struck of the same weight as the 
"calderilla." This money to have a 
circular border and in the center the 
name PHILIPPVS in monogram with 
a crown above and on the other side 
the word REX with a crown above 
and the value below. 

An edict authorized in Aranjuez 
on May 6, 1659, ordered the heavy 
copper money of four and two mara- 
vedises reduced to one half. 

An ordinance of September 11, 1660, 
ordered that the heavy coppers which 
circulate at two maravedis each be 
'melted and restruck so that each 
marco which now. has 34 pieces of 
two maravedises will have 51 pieces 
valued at four maravedises. 

A glance at the foregoing and it 
is easily realized what would hap- 
pen to a copper coin after passing 
through as many changes in value 
as is indicated. Each time that the 
value was changed the coins were 
counterstamped, sometimes on both 
obverse and reverse. Practically 
nothing of the original coin would 
remain visible and even the coun- 
terstamps would be counterstamped. 
To a collector who is fussy about 
the condition of his coins they 
would certainly be unacceptable. To 
be honest with you I have found 
most of my coins of this type in 
dealers' junk boxes. Every time I 
enter a dealer's place of business I 
ask to see the junk box and invar- 
iably find a few. The usual classi- 
fications of very fine, fine, very good, 
good, fair and poor do not suffice so 
I have added two more; W for 
wretched and D for deplorable. 

In my collection of Spanish coins 
I have 132 pieces with multiple 
counterstamps on which I have 
been able to identify 60 different 
counterstamps. These 6O counter- 
stamps are shown on the accom- 
panying plates which were prepared 
as follows: the coins were photo- 
graphed and then enlarged to 
double their actual size. The coun- 
terstamps were outlined in white 
ink and then traced on transparent 
drafting cloth from which blue 
prints were made. 

A study of the plates shows that 
there are three types of counter- 
stamps: monograms, denominations 
and dates. There are two mono- 
grams which are always found on 
the same coin. One of PHILIPPVS 
(Nos. 1, 2 & 3) and one of REX 
(Nos. 4 & 5). Number 3 is definitely 
a forgery as the letters are poorly 
formed and the S is backward and 
the whole counterstamp has the 
appearance of falseness. It is prob- 
ably a contemporary job but went 
right on circulating as there are 
later counterstamps on the coin that 
are genuine. All of the punches 
used to make the monograms are 
badly broken and misshapen and 
somewhat out of line as can be seen 
by studying the plates. 

The denominations are Xn, VTII, 
8, VT, and IIH. The plates also show 
an X (Nos. 40 & 45) but I am 
unable to explain it as no provision 
was made for a coin of 10 marave- 
dises value. It is probably the 
remains of the monogram REX but 
a close examination of the coin with 
a strong glass does not show the 
remains of any other letters. Nos. 
41 & 46 are obverse and reverse of 
the same coin which is a two 
maravedises of Philip III dated 
1601. This is undoubtedly the coun- 
terstamp ordered by Philip in in 
1602 that is referred to in the first 
paragraph of the translation and 
which' was rescinded by that ordi- 

The series of XH maravedises 
seems to be complete as all of the 
mint marks seem to be present. The 
mint marks of Burgos, Granada, 
Madrid, Seville and Toledo are 
easily recognized as they are simply 





.?/, \*o 

f y 








the first letter of the name, with 
the exception of Madrid which is 
usually a monogram of the first 
and last letters. There are, however, 
a few mint marks that might be 
troublesome for a collector who has 
not specialized in the Spanish series. 
The one that looks like some trap- 
per has hung a muskrat skin on the 
door to cure (No. 8) is supposed to 
be a bat and is the mint mark of 

which could be the missing mints 
as there are no mint identifications 
on any of them. Nos. 31 & 49 are 
from the same coin as are 18 & 47 
and 26 & 54. These three are beau- 
tiful jobs of counterstamping and 
on all three of them the date is 
stamped four times on one side and 
the denomination four times on the 
other side and as the counterstamps 
are evenly spaced they almost look 




G- 55 




Valencia. Then there is another 
that looks like a frightened insect 
(Nos. 14, 21 & 25) but is really a 
pomegranate and is another mint 
mark for Granada. The third one 
looks like a picket fence (Nos. 10 & 
43) but is the aqueduct of Segovia. 
The VIII maravedises is not com- 
plete as there are several mint 
marks missing. Burgos, Granada, 
Madrid, Seville and Toledo are here. 
I don't know, of course, whether all 
mints counterstamped all denomi- 
nations or not but apparently 
Segovia and Valencia are missing. 
In this series an Arabic "8" appears 

like struck coins. All are on smooth 
flans with no remains of the orig- 
inal coin visible. 

The VI maravedises is also appar- 
ently incomplete with Burgos, 
Granada, Madrid, and Seville pres- 
ent and Segovia, Toledo and Valen- 
cia absent. 

The most difficult counterstamp to 
identify definitely is that of the IIII 
maravedises. This is not on account 
of the lack of counterstamps of this 
value but because most of them 
have been partially obliterated by 
later stamps. I could only find four 
that I felt justified in tracing and 


on only one of them. (No. 43) could 
I see any signs of a mint mark. 

Dates are incomplete but I do not 
know that all dates were used. 
There are eleven different dates 
(between 1622 & 1659) on the coins 
under study. The Spanish 5 of the 
period is a bit confusing and is 
sometimes read as 9. No. 53 on the 
plates does not conform but what 
we seem to have is the figure 2 
retrograde and upside down. How 
they managed it I am at a loss to 
say as either one or the other would 
be an easy mistake but in combina- 
tion it must have been deliberate. 
No. 57 is, of course, two dates 
stamped one on top of the other. 

Several letters sent to me have 

asked "which are the rare ones." It 
is impossible to tell at present and 
the only way that anything could 
be done toward establishing com- 
parative rarity would be for all 
collectors to examine their coins 
and forward their findings to a 
single person for recording. In my 
collection, the most common are the 
monograms of which there are 29. 
Of the denominations the VIII of 
Madrid is present 12 times. Several 
of the remainder are represented by 
only one example. 

If enough people are interested, 
I will volunteer to keep records to 
determine rarity but little will be 
gained unless a large number of 
collectors send in data. 

Coins of Spanish Republic 
of 18731874 

One phase of the subject I am dealing with is unique among national 
coinages the idea of having two dates on the same die. Initiated by the 
Regency of General Serrano during the Interregnum of 1868-1870, in 1869, 
the practice was continued until well into the twentieth century about half 
a century. The regular date occurs in the usual manner., but an auxiliary 
date is placed in the die with a punch containing the date of coinage, incuse. 
The auxiliary date is divided between two six-pointed stars upon the ob- 
verse, left and right of the date or the word ESPANA. On 20 and 50 
centime pieces only the last two figures appear, i.e., 6 on the left, 9 on the 
right, while the full date appears on the large coins, 18 to left, 69 to right. 
As is common to many countries, the initials of the Director of the Mint 
are required by law to be placed upon the coin. 

The coins of the first Spanish Republic, 1873-1874, are to be told 
only by two things: The auxiliary date is 1873 or 1874 while the regular 
date is 1870 or 1871 on the same coin; the Director's initials are D. E. 
instead of S. N. or S. D. The regular dies of two earlier regimes were 
used, without altering the regular dates upon them; evidently the last dies 
of the denomination desired were used, regardless of the regime the coins 
produced would purport to represent. Excerpt from "The First Spanish 
Republic, 1873-1874, and Coins of Spain" by Sidney Haas, The Numisma- 
tist, May, 1934. 



P. K. Anderson 

(With the exception of the first coin illustrated and the 3 reales of Charles and 
Johanna, illustrations are of coins in the collections of the American Numismatic 
Society and The Hispanic Society of America.) 

The early history of Spain is lost in antiquity but that it was 
inhabited by members of the Cromagnon race is known by archaeological 
findings. The principal remains of the Cromagnon race are the pre- 
historic paintings in the cave at Altamira, near Santander, in northern 
Spain. These paintings were discovered by Marcelino de Sautuola, a 
lawyer, in 1879. Until very recently the Altamira caves were the largest 
known gallery of Cromagnon art but discovery of Lascaux cave in 
southern France has now relegated Altamira and its neighboring caves 
of Castillo and La Pasiega to second place. The Cromagnons are consid- 
ered generally as Paleolithic men for their implements were of rough 
stone. Neolithic man, -who used polished stone, followed the Cromagnon 
man many thousands of years later. Neolithic man was in turn f ollowed 
by men of the ages of metals (copper, bronze and iron). The age of iron 
coincided with the entry into Spain of peoples who come within the 
sphere of recorded history. These were the Iberians. Authorities are 
divided as to the origin of the Iberians but the majority claim that they 
were offshoots of the ancient Chaldeans and Assyrians and that they 
migrated to Spain via Africa. The origin of the Celts who were the next 
invaders of Spain is more certain. They were of an Indo-European race, 
and in the 6th century B.C. they entered Spain by way of the Pyrenees, 
coming from what is now the modern Balkan States. The Celts and the 
Iberians intermingled, forming the Celt- Iberian race. 

Early settlements were made in Spain by the Phoenicians who 
established trading posts near present day Gibraltar. These posts were 
extended by the great Phoenician colony of Carthage who extended their 
trading as far north as Carthago Nova, now Cartegena, and to Saguntum, 
Murviedro in the middle ages, at present Sagunto. They also established 
themselves in the Balearic Islands. The maritime Greeks who had estab- 
lished a colony at Marsalla, in Southern France, pushed south and built 
trading posts at Emporia, now Ampurias, and at Rhoda, now Rosas. 

The honor for the earliest coinage in Spain is in doubt but it is either 
the Carthagenians at Gades and Saguntum or the Greeks at Emporia and 
Rhoda who should get the credit. I show here a drachma of Emporia 

Drachm of Emporia, Circa B.C. 300 

and an uncia of Gades. This was soon followed by the coinage of the 
Celt-Iberians in northeast Spain, the Turdetans in southeast Spain and 


the Lusitanians in what is now modern Portugal. Galicia had no coinage 
until much later during the period of the Visigothic rule. Coinage was 
very prolific during this latter period as Aloiss Heiss, in his book on the 
coinage of ancient Spain, shows 68 communities which struck coins 
bearing the Celt-Iberian language. Here is a denarius of Osca which is 

Denarius of Osca, Circa 1st to 2nd Centuries B.C. 

the most common coin of the entire series and an aes of Samala, which 
is one of the rarest. Of the coinage of Hispania Ulterior there were nine 
cities which used either Turdetan or Phoenician alphabets. Here is an 
aes of Obulco. Lusitania struck no coins until the Roman conquest. 
Next come a few bilingual coins and then the huge coinage struck 
in Spain by the Romans. During the Roman period there were 180 dis- 
tinct places of coinage. The coinage of ancient Spain was prolific and 
there are literally thousands of different coins, not counting varieties. 
These coins are very common and are reasonably cheap as many of them 
may be had for $1.00 or a little over. Condition, however, is another 
story as even a coin which has seen no circulation leaves much to be 
desired and collectors of this series must content themselves with less 
than perfection. The Roman series of ancient Spain ends with the death 
of Caligula in 41 A.D. There are, however, coins of the later emperors, 
Galba, Vitellius, Vespasian and Hadrian, which refer to Spain and which 
may be included in a collection of Spanish coins. I show you an aes of 

Denarius of P. Carsisius for Emerita Augusta, B.C. 24-22 

Caesar Augusta and a denarius of Emerita, both in beautiful condition. 
The Roman influence in Spain did not end, even politically, in the 
year 409 A.D. which marked the first successful invasion of the Germanic 
hordes but continued for some time thereafter. Numistically, however, 
Spain was sterile until the Visigothic invasion. In the year 409 A.D. the 
Vandals, Suevians and Alans entered Spain and the Roman downfall in 
Spain began. These Germanic people settled in Galicia and Lusitania 
but in 420 A.D. the Vandals moved on to Baetica in southern Spain and 
in 429 A.D. they migrated again, going to northern Africa. In 414 A.D. 


the Visigoths, under their King Ataulf , crossed the Pyrenees and captured 
Barcelona, which they ruled under the Roman emperor. 

The first of the Visigothic kings to make a Spanish city the capital 
of the kingdom was Athanagild (554-567) who fixed his residence at 
Toledo. The next king, Liuva I, returned to France, leaving his brother 
Leovgild as ruler in Spain. On the death of the former, Leovgild became 
sole ruler and the capital returned to Toledo to remain thereafter in 
Spain. In 585 Leovgild defeated Andeca, King of the Suevians, and all of 
Spain came under Visigothic rule. The end of the Visigothic domination 
of Spain came with the defeat and death of Roderic at the battle of 
Segoyuela in 711 A.D. Numistically the Visigothic period was not too 
fertile. There are a few small gold coins struck by the Suevians but 
these are very rare and the majority of them are in museums. They are 
really beyond the means of the average collector. The Visigoths struck 
only one denomination, a gold triens, but they were struck for every 
monarch (16 of them) and at 64 different mints. None of the kings struck 
at all of the mints. Reccared, who was the most prolific, used only 28 
mints. This is a very dangerous series for the amateur, as Becker "The 
Counterfeiter" worked in this series extensively. Carl Wilhelm Becker 
was born in 1772 in Spira, Germany. He was librarian and curator for 
Prince Carl Friedrich Ludwig Moritz von Isenburg. He counterfeited, 
aside from Visigothic coins, Greek, Roman and mediaeval coins. He died 
in 1830. My advice to collectors is to buy Visigothic coins through 
reputable dealers or recognized authorities. One thing to remember is 

Triens of Reccared Struck at Toledo, 586-601 A.D. 

that the Visigoths struck gold only. I show a triens of Reccared and one 
of Swinthila. Also a "Becker" of Egica and Wittiza. 

King Wittiza (701-710) attempted to obtain the throne for his son 
Achila but Roderic, the candidate of the nobility, was successful and was 
crowned king in 710. Achila sought the aid of the Moslems in Africa and 
the Berber chief Tarik landed at Gibraltar. Roderic was routed and 

Dirhem of the tlmayyads Medinat al-Zahra Mint 

killed in 711 at the battle of Segoyuela. By 718 the Moslems had overrun 
all of Spain but two small places in the Pyrenees mountains. In 755 A.D. 


Abd-er-Rahman I, who was the last surviving member of the Umayyad 
Dynasty, escaped from Damascus and took refuge in Spain where he 
established the Califate of Cordova. With the death of Hesham HE 
(1031 A.D.) the Umayyad Dynasty is considered as having terminated. 
The Moslem Kingdom was broken up into taifas and there were as many 
Emirates as there were walled cities and strongholds. In 1086 a tribe 
of Moslems, calling themselves Almoravides (religious men) invaded Spain 
and proceeded to subdue the independent Emirs. The rule of the Almora- 
vides lasted for only a short time as in 1146 a tribe of Moors called 
Almohades or Unitarians took over Spain. In the meantime the Kings of 
Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarre waged spasmodic war against the 
Moslems until on January 2, 1492, Boabdil, the last ruler of Granada, 
capitulated. I show here a dinar of Abd-el-Mu'min (1130-1163) Calif of 
the Almohades struck at Seville and a dirhem of Abd-er-Rahman I 
struck at Cordova in 777 A.D. 

The next series, which will be called the era of the Christian Kings, 
in reality overlaps the Moslem series. The Christian Kings are so-called, 
not on account of their piety, but to distinguish them from the Moslems 
who ruled in Spain during the same period. The coinage of the Christian 
Kings was so prolific that several books on the subject only scratch the 
surface. Therefore, for the purposes of this article the series will be much 
condensed with the hopes that several more articles may be developed. 

When the Moslems of Africa overran Spain after the death of 
Roderic, the Visigoth, there remained two focal points unsubjugated. 
These areas surrounded Pamplona in the Pyrenees and Oviedo near the 
Bay of Biscay, The rulers of these two strongholds gradually expanded 
their holdings. Charlemagne also pushed down from the North and 
took over the County of Barcelona. Pamplona eventually developed into 
the Kingdom of Navarre while Oviedo became the Kingdom of Leon. 
Mediaeval Spain began shaping up with the death of Sancho m of 
Navarre who died in 1035. Sancho m divided his kingdom into three 
parts ; his eldest son Garcia inheriting Navarre ; the second son Fernando 
receiving Castile; and to his illegitimate son Ramiro he gave the 
Kingdom of Aragon. Leon had developed in the meantime and we have 
the four principal kingdoms of Spain. At this same period there existed 
in northeast Spain Roussillon, and the Counties of Barcelona and Urgel, 
each with its separate ruler. These various kingdoms appeared and 
disappeared, were separated and rejoined by marriages, deaths and 

Fernando I, the first King of Castile, was married to Sancha, who 
was the hen* to the throne of Leon, so two years after inheriting Castile 
he became King of Leon by virtue of this marriage. Leon and Castile 
were united from 1037 until 1157 when Alfonso VII divided his realm at 
his death. They were separate kingdoms for 73 years when they were 
again joined and from that date on Leon ceased to be an independent 
1 kingdom. 

Barcelona had become independent in 874 and was ruled by a Count. 
It was not a kingdom but was a County which was the fief of a Count. 
Ramon Berenguer IV (1131-1162) married Petronilla, daughter of Ramiro 
n of Aragon and his son by this marriage, Alfonso II of Aragon, united 
Aragon and Catalonia under a single rule. 


Urgel and Roussillon, being practically without an independent 
coinage, will be omitted. Urgel had a few coins but they are very rare 
and difficult to acquire. Roussillon had coins during the period of 
Ferdinand and Isabella which are not uncommon. 

Pamplona had expanded and under Inigo Jimenez, who died in 852, 
became the Kingdom of Navarre. On the death of Sancho IV Garces the 
throne of Navarre was inherited by Sancho V Ramirez who was King 
of Aragon. The two kingdoms were united from 1076 until 1134. On the 
death of Alfonso I of Aragon the kingdoms were again separated, Garcia 
IV Ramirez being elected King of Navarre. Exactly 100 years later the 
throne of Navarre passed, by marriage, to the French. It remained under 
French control until 1420 when it reverted again to Aragon. After a 
short interval of 54 years it returned to France and in 1512 the issue was 
finally settled when Ferdinand II of Aragon captured Spanish Navarre. 
The separation was permanent and the boundary between France and 
Spain made at that time exists today. 

As stated previously in this article, Aragon came into existence with 
the death of Sancho in of Navarre. As time went on Aragon became, 
along with Castile, the predominating power and gradually absorbed 
the surrounding territories. Barcelona became a part of Aragon in 1162, 
Roussillon in 1172 and Urgel was absorbed in 1336. Jaime I "the Con- 
queror" of Aragon (1213-1276) began the conquest of the Balearic 
Islands by occupying Majorca in 1229. In 1232 Minorca was subjected 
and the conquest was completed by the fall of Ibiza in 1235. His greatest 
prize, however, was the Kingdom of Valencia. Pedro III of Aragon 
(1276-1285) married Constance, the daughter of King Manfred of Sicily 
and when Manfred was assassinated he put forth his claim to the throne 
alleging the claims of his wife, Constance. By the end of the year 1282 
Sicily was controlled by Aragon. Sardinia became a dependency of 
Aragon in 1324 when it was conquered by the armies of Jaime II 
(1291-1327). Juana H of Naples adopted Alfonso V of Aragon and 
proclaimed him her heir. She died in 1435 and the throne of Naples 
was combined with that of Sicily under the name of the "Two Sicilies." 

This, then, is the complicated picture of the era of the Christian 
Kings. It has been difficult to condense enough for a short article such 
as this and still make sense. I hope, in the near future, to develop at 
least two more articles covering this period. 

The coinage of the Christian Kings was vast and coins were struck 
for Leon, Castile, Navarre, Aragon, Roussillon, Urgel, Barcelona, Valen- 
ica, Majorca, Sardinia, Sicily and Naples. During this period there were 
numerous "Pretenders," nearly an of whom struck coins. Here is a dinero 
of Urraca for Leon, a real of Alfonso, Pretender to the throne of Castile, 
a real in pure silver of Henry "The Impotent" of Castile, a carlino of 
Alfonso V for Naples, a dinero of Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona and 
a dobla de la banda of Alfonso V of Aragon. 

Ferdinand and Isabella, who were the sponsors of Christopher 
Columbus in his discovery of the Western Hemisphere, had one child 
who survived them, Juana or Johanna "la loca." Johanna was married to 
Philip "The Handsome" of the Austrian Hapsburgs. Philip died in 1506 
and in 1516 Johanna inherited the throne of Spain. However, Johanna 
was not competent to reign so her son Charles was named regent and 


ruled in her name. It was at this period that Spain had her greatest 
expansion. The New World was conquered and for over 300 years was 
the source of Spain's wealth. Charles had inherited, through his father, 
the Low Countries, Burgundy and Luxembourg. Johanna was Queen of 
Castile, Aragon and Navarre, the Castillian dominions in Africa and 
America, the Roussillon, Sardinia, Naples and Sicily. Charles was also 
heir to the throne of Austria. He was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 
1519 but the throne of Austria went to his brother Ferdinand. Charles 
was Charles I of Spain but as Holy Roman Emperor he was Charles V. 
Charles I abdicated the throne of Spain in 1556. 

8 Reales of Ferdinand and Isabella, Seville Mint 

The coinage of Charles and Johanna in Spain is scarce. Coins were 
struck for these rulers at the two great mints of Segovia and Valencia 
but were struck in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella and can only be 
identified by assay ers' initials. The only easily acquired coins of this 
reign are those struck in Mexico and the copper 4 maravedis attributed 
to San Domingo. The San Domingo coinage is, however, a controversial 
subject and 111 probably be in trouble with my fellow collectors when 
I say that they were not struck in San Domingo. They were struck /or 
San Domingo, I'll admit, but I believe that they were struck somewhere 
in Spain (probably Seville) and shipped to San Domingo for circulation. 
The coinage of Charles alone as Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire 
is much more common, especially for Milan, the two Sicilies and the city 
of Besancon. There was a small coinage (mostly gold) for Aragon, 
Valencia, Barcelona, Majorca, Roussillon, Sardinia and the Low- Countries. 

3 Reales of Charles and Johanna, Mexico City Mint 

I have here a 3 reales of Charles and Johanna of Mexico and a 4 mara- 
vedis of San Domingo. Also a double ducat of Charles V for Valencia. 


Philip n (1556-1598) was a cold and bigoted man. He was the only 
son of Charles I and was 29 years of age when he mounted the Spanish 
throne. He was married four times, his second wife being Mary I of 
England. The reign of Philip II was notable mainly for the expansion 
of Spanish territory in the Western Hemisphere and for the persecution 
of the Protestants. Another important event was the annexation of the 
kingdom of Portugal in 1581. Philip n died in 1598. 

The coinage of Philip n was large, especially in the New World. The 
mint at Mexico City continued striking coins and new mints were opened 
at Potosi (1572) and at Lima (1568?) both in the Vice-royalty of Peru. 
Mints were in operation at Segovia, Toledo, Granada, Seville and Valla- 
dolid in Spain. Also for the Low Countries, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, 
and Milan. There are coins for England and Ireland struck with Mary 

8 Keales of Philip H, 1590 Segovia. Mint 

and coins as King of Portugal. Here is an 8 reales struck with the new 
press at the mint of Segovia in 1590 and an 8 reales of the Potosi mint, 
both in very nice condition. 

Philip in (1598-1621) was the fourth son of Philip H and was born 
in Madrid on April 14, 1578. Philip III carried on the policies of his 
father and grandfather but without the success that had awarded their 
efforts. This reign is considered as the beginning of "the century of 
decline" for Spain. 

The coinage of Philip III was not as large as that of his father, perhaps 
because the reign was shorter. Silver was struck in Mexico City, Potosi 
and Lima. The mints in Spain were Segovia, Madrid, Seville, Burgos, 
Cuenca, Pamplona, Valencia, Zaragoza and Barcelona and there was 
an emergency coinage in copper struck at Toledo for Oran in North 
Africa. There were also coins for Mallorca, Ibiza, Granollers, Solsona, 
Roussillon and Vich which carry no mint marks but were probably struck 
in the territory in which they circulated. There was also a coinage for 
Sicily, Naples, Milan, Sardinia and the Low Countries. Here is an 8 
reales (1611) of Aragon which was struck in Zaragoza and is a very rare 
coin and a 2 maravedises for Oran in unusually nice condition for 
this coin. 

Philip IV (1621-1665) was the third son of Philip III and was only 
16 years of age when he inherited the throne of Spain. His reign was 


one of disaster for Spanish greatness. An uprising in the Low-Lands 
resulted in the loss of the Protestant Netherlands in 1648. By the treaty 
of 1659 Spain gave up Roussillon and her former Burgundian possessions. 
Spain also surrendered Sardinia and a large part of the Catholic Nether- 
lands. An uprising began in Portugal in 1640 which culminated in the 
loss of Portugal in 1668 during the reign of Charles EL The English also 
took over many of Spam's possessions in the West Indies. 

Until very recently it was thought that the first gold coins of the 
Western Hemisphere were struck under Charles II. However, in 1936, 
a hoard of gold coins (known as the El Mesuno hoard) was discovered 
at Honda on the Magdalena river in Colombia. These coins are dated 
1635 and have the mint mark N R for Santa Fe de Bogota. The writer 
was in Colombia when this hoard was found and acquired one of them. 
Coins were also struck at Mexico City, Potosi and Lima. In Spain, the 
mints of Segovia, Madrid, Seville, Pamplona, Valencia, Barcelona, Zara- 
goza, Toledo, La Coruna, Cuenca, Granada and Burgos operated inter- 
mittently. Coins were also struck for Mallorca and Ibiza. Other dominions 
were represented by coins for Sicily, Naples, Sardinia and the Low 
Countries. I have a 2 escudos (1635) of Bogota, a 50 reales (1628) which 
is the largest Spanish coin and a 16 maravedises (1664) of the La 
Coruna mint. 

The Catalan revolt, which had the most prominence numismatically, 
deserves separate treatment. Catalonia had long been a nation so far as a 
separate language and institutions go and had objected for centuries to 
the absolutism of the kings, alleging that their charter rights were thus 
contravened. The danger of a French invasion resulted in the sending 
of troops to Catalonia where by law the Catalonians were required to 
furnish the troops with a room, a bed, a table, fire, salt, vinegar and 
service. Lack of funds was such, however, that more than this was 
exacted. In 1640 the Catalans formed a republic and made an alliance 
with France. The republic was short-lived and in 1641 the monarchial 
form of government returned with the recognition of the King of France 
as ruler. This state of affairs lasted until 1659 when Catalonia returned 
to the Spanish fold. 

During the period of the republic (1640-1641) each municipality 
had its own coinage. Coins of the following municipalities are known: 
Argentona, Balaguer, Banolas, Barcelona, Bellpuig, Berga, Besalu, La 
Bisbal, Caldes, Cervera, Figueras, Gerona, Granollers, Igualada, Manresa, 
Mataro, Olot, Puigcerda, Solsona, Tagament, Tarrasa, Tarrega, Vich, 
and Villa Franca del Panades. All of the coins of the above are always 
in wretched condition and I doubt if any of them are known in respectable 
shape. They are all rare. After the return of the monarchy copper ardite 
and seisinos were struck in the names of Louis XIII and Louis XTV. 
They are common. A series of rare patterns were struck in 1642 by 
Louis Xm for Catalonia. I have here a 5 reales of Vich of which I am 
very proud. Also a 10 reales of Louis XIV for Barcelona. 

Another occurrence during this reign that had numismatic reper- 
cussions and deserves special mention is the economic situation. On 
August 7, 1628, a decree was issued reducing copper coinage to half its 
former value. On March 12, 1636, a decree was issued calling in all 
money counter stamped under the above decree and ordered them re- 


counterstamped, making those of a value of 4 maravedises, originally, 
worth 12 maravedises, and those having an original value of 2 marave- 
dises being raised to 6 maravedises. This to be done with two stamps. 
On one side to be stamped the year with a crown above it. On the 
other side the new value in Roman numerals together with the mark of 
the mint doing the counterstamping. On October 27, 1641, another 
decree was published ordering the new coinage of the Segovia mint of the 
value of two and four maravedises to be recalled and stamped at three 
times its original value. Those of 2 maravedises being increased to 6 and 
those of 4 maravedises to 12. On August 31, 1642, the value was reduced 
to one-sixth so that pieces counterstamped 12 were valued at 2 marave- 
dises. Again on March 12, 1643, a new decree rescinded the one of 
August 31, 1642, returning the coins to their value of 12 and 6 mara- 
vedises. On November 11, 1651, a decree was published ordering that 
"all of the base-metal money shall return to the value which it had before 
the reduction of September 15, 1642." (I can not find any other mention 
of September 15, 1642) "except the ancient money struck before 1597." 
Between the above decree and October 29, 1660, at least eight more 
decrees were published pertaining to this subject. It can be seen easily 
just what would happen to a copper coin under the foregoing circum- 
stances. These examples of "numismatic tattooing" were counterstamped 

"Numismatic Tattooing" of Philip IV 

so many times that nothing was visible of the original coin and even the 
counterstamps were counterstamped. I have seen a coin with as many 
as 12 identifiable counterstamps and I have some in my collection with 
from 6 to 8 stamps which can be identified. This is much condensed and 
really deserves a paper of considerable length on this one topic. I'll see 
what can be done about it. I show here two examples of "numismatic 
tattooing" in rather nice condition. 

Charles II (1665-1700) was only 4 years old when he inherited the 


throne. He was an epileptic and was nicknamed "el Hechizado" or "the 
bewitched." Charles' mind never developed, and while he ruled for 35 
years, it was in name only as he was incapable of making decisions 
himself. During the entire reign a regent was responsible for Spanish 
policy and the reign was a continuation of the decline of Spanish power. 
As stated above, Portugal was lost and other wars resulted in the loss 
of additional territory. Charles IT died on November 1, 1700, without 
issue, and with him passed the rule of the House of Austria. 

Charles II had mints in Mexico City, Potosi, Lima and Santa Fe de 
Bogota in the Americas which struck gold and silver. These are the 
coins known as "cobs" or "macuquina" and the planchet in most cases 
was smaller than the dies and it is seldom that a coin is found that 
contains the entire legend. There were mints in Barcelona, Segovia, 
Seville, Valencia, Mallorca, Ibiza, Zaragoza and Navarre. There was an 
8 maravedises struck at Madrid for Oran too. Charles had a coinage for 
Sicily, Naples, Sardinia, Milan, and in the Low Countries from Brabrant, 
Luxembourg, Guelders and Flanders. Most of these coins are found in 
wretched condition, one exception being the Maria or Ave Maria coins of 

Real of Charles H, 1686 Segovia Mint 

the mint at Segovia. These were nicely struck and are much sought for 
by collectors. I have here a set of 1, 2, 4 and 8 reales de Maria. 

On the death of Charles n there were several claimants to the 
Spanish throne. The principal candidates were Philip of Anjou, grandson 
of Louis XIV of France and a member of the Bourbon family; and 
Charles, Archduke of Austria, the representative of the Hapsburgs. The 
war of the Spanish Succession began actively in 1702 and lasted until 
1713. Philip of Anjou became King of Spain and ruled as Philip V. 
However, Spain lost the Catholic Netherlands and its possessions in Italy 
to Austria and Savoy. England also acquired Gibraltar and Minorca. 

Charles of Austria, as pretender to the Spanish throne, issued 2 
reales pieces for general circulation and copper dinero for use in Barce- 
lona. These coins were struck in the name of Charles HI. Here is a 
dinero for Barcelona and a 2 reales of Spain of the pretender. 

The reign of Philip V (1700-1746) was long and filled with intrigues. 
Wars were fought but diplomacy made a more lasting impression 
historically. Treaties were made and broken and in 1734 Spain regained 
possession of the "Two Sicilies." In the meantime Philip V had abdicated 
on January 10, 1724, turning the throne of Spain over to his eldest 
son Luis. Luis contracted smallpox, however, and passed away on 
August 31 of that same year, having reigned less than 8 months. Philip 
resumed the throne and ruled until his death on July 9, 1746. 

The coinage of Philip was immense, especially in the Western Hemi- 


sphere where the same mints that had operated during the reign of 
Charles n, with the addition of a new one at Guatemala, continued 
pouring out gold and silver coins. It was during this period that the 
famous "Dos Mundos" or two worlds dollar was first coined. This "Dos 
Mundos" dollar is the "piece-of-eight" of pirate lore. Also the first 
appearance of the Proclamation coins or medals was made at this time. 

6 Maravedises of Philip V, 1709 Valencia Mint 

In Spain there were mints at Seville, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Segovia, 
Madrid, Valencia and Pamplona and there were coins for Mallorca and 
Ibiza. The coinage of Luis I is a very small issue due to his short reign. 
It is all scarce. Here is a pillar dollar from the Mexico City mint and a 
2 reales of the Zaragoza mint, both of Philip V. Also a Proclamation 
piece of Luis I cast at Algeciras. 

The reign of Ferdinand VT (1746-1759) was an uneventful one, 
primarily because it was a time of peace. Ferdinand, who took little part 
in Government and who displayed tendencies to melancholia and even 
insanity, was firmly of the opinion that Spain needed peace. He declined 
the offers of England to return Gibraltar and Minorca at the price of 
war with France. In 1759 he died without issue and was succeeded by 
his half-brother, Charles. 

The coinage of Ferdinand VI was not particularly plentiful in Spain 
but the mints of the New World continued pouring out gold and silver. 
No crown-sized (8 Reales) coins were coined for this reign in Spain but 
the mints of Mexico City and Potosi turned them out in the millions. 
The minor mints of the New World were also busy. Also Proclamation 
pieces were produced by 18 different localities in Spain and 18 localities 
in New Spain. I use the word produced instead of coined as many of 
these pieces were cast. Spanish mints were Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, 
Segovia and Pamplona. Mints outside of Spain were Mexico City, Guate- 
mala, Santa Fe de Bogota, Lima, Potosi and Santiago de Chile. Here is a 
cast Proclamation piece of Gerona and a one real of the Madrid mint 
(1751) which has had a tiny heart-shaped piece cut out of the center to 
make it legal tender in the Island of Martinique. 

The rule of Charles III (1759-1788) was a wise one and while Spain 
regained none of her lost territories her prestige in Europe was the 
greatest it had been since the days of Charles V of the Holy Roman 
Empire. Minorca was returned to the Spanish fold in 1782 after 74 years 
of English possession. Spain was not an active participant in our 
Revolutionary War although she did furnish a small amount of munitions 
and supplies to the American Colonists. The Revolutionary War, how- 
ever, had an influence on later Spanish history as the success of George 


Washington set a precedent which was to be the goal of the Liberators in 
the Spanish colonies 35 years later. 

The coinage of Charles in was large in the Americas but cannot 
compare with that of some of his predecessors. The same mints as before 
were in operation. In Spain there were mints in Madrid, Seville, Segovia 
and Pamplona. Segovia struck copper only. There was also a mint in 
Manila. Charles also had a coinage for Sicily and Naples as king of the 
Two Sicilies previous to his ascension to the throne of Spain. In 1772 
the "Dos Mundos" type was abandoned in favor of the bust type. 

4 Reales of Charles IH, 1777 Seville Mint 

Proclamation pieces were produced from 34 cities in Spain and 32 cities 
in the New World. I have here an 8 reales (1762) of the Seville mint 
and an 8 maravedises (1773) from Segovia. 

Proclamation Piece of Charles IV, 1789 Seville Mint 

Charles IV (1788-1808), the son and successor of Charles III, was 
born in Naples, November 12, 1748. Historically his reign was uneventful 
with the exception of the repercussions of the French Revolution and 
the rise to power of Napoleon. Continued skirmishes with the English 
resulted in the loss of most of the West Indies. Minorca, which had again 
been occupied by the English, was regained in exchange for Trinidad. 
In 1795, Haiti was ceded to France and in 1800 Louisiana became a 
French possession. Charles IV abdicated the Spanish throne on March 
19, 1808. 

Charles IV had coinage from mints of Mexico City, Nueva Guate- 
mala, Santa Fe de Bogota, Lima, Potosi, and Santiago de Chile in the 
New World. It was during this reign that the coinage of the small y 
real silver pieces was resumed in Mexico City and Potosi. This denomi- 
nation had not been coined since the time of Charles and Johanna. The 


mint In Manila struck copper Quartos and Octavos. Spanish coinage was 
struck at Madrid, Segovia, Seville and Pamplona. Proclamation pieces 
were issued from 57 localities in Spain and 57 in the New World. I show 
you a y^ real in silver of Mexico City and a cast Proclamation piece of 
8 reales size for Granada. This is a variety not shown in Adolf o Herrera's 
book on Proclamation pieces as it has a plain edge. 

Quarter Real of Charles IV, 1797 Mexico City Mint 

The next period in Spanish history has the analogy of two reigning 
Kings, both of whom struck coins and to all intents and purposes each 
King was a prisoner of the other. On March 19, 1808, Charles IV was com- 
pelled to abdicate the throne of Spain, leaving as heir to the throne his 
eldest son, Ferdinand. Charles fled to France and Ferdinand was induced, 
by the French diplomats, to meet his father and Napoleon at Bayonne. 
Virtually a prisoner, he was compelled to renounce the throne, and to 
Napoleon was given the right to name the King of Spain. As the French 
were already in possession of Madrid and of the Northern provinces, Na- 
poleon named, as King of Spain, his elder brother, Joseph. 

The Spanish people, however, still considered Ferdinand as king. War 
was begun and the Spanish Nationals, aided by the English under the 
Duke of Wellington, proceeded to make life miserable for the new king. 

Jose Napoleon (1808-1814) was offered the throne by the French 
dominated "Junta" of Regency on May 13, 1808. He ruled until May 
12, 1814. His entire period of incumbency was a continuous guerrilla 
warfare with his Spanish subjects and with the English. 

The coinage of Jose Napoleon was not particularly great. Coins were 
struck at Barcelona, Madrid, Segovia and Seville. The colonies remained 
loyal to Ferdinand and no coins were struck in the New World for Jose 
Napoleon. At Barcelona a new denomination was created. A gold coin of 
the denomination of 20 pesetas and silver coins of 5, 2y 2 , and one peseta 

Peseta of Jose ISapoleon, 1811 Barcelona Mint 

were issued. Quartos and multiple quartos were struck in copper with a 
few rare ones in bell-metal. In Madrid a revaluation was adopted also. At 
the beginning the dollar-sized silver coin was valued at 8 reales but on 


April 18, 1809 a decree was promulgated making this same coin worth 20 
reales. SeviUe struck a 20 reales in 1812 and 4 reales in 1810 and 1812. 
Segovia struck 8 maravedises in copper only. Here are an 8 and a 20 
reales dated 1809 of Madrid and a rare 5 pesetas dated 1814 of Barcelona. 
Also a 4 quartos (1809) in bell-metal. 

The reign of Ferdinand VII (1808-1833) was an eventful one. In 
addition to the Peninsular War, described under Jose Napoleon, unrest in 
the Colonies led to revolutions that culminated in the loss of practically 
all of Spain's colonies. Before the end of Ferdinand's reign everything 
but Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands had gained independ- 
ence. Ferdinand VII died on September 29, 1833. 

The coinage of Ferdinand VII was probably the most prodigious 
and varied of any king that ever ruled. On account of the war with Na- 
poleon, emergency mints were established all over Spain. Mints operated 
in Cadiz, Gerona, Jubia, Lerida, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, SeviUe, Tor- 
tosa and Valencia. There was also a mobile mint using the mintmark C 
(for Cataluna) which operated in Reus, Tarragona and Palma de Mal- 
lorca. After the war there were coins struck in this monarch's name at 
Barcelona, Pamplona and at Segovia in addition to the foregoing. There 

10 Reales "Resellado" of Ferdinand VU, 1812 Madrid Mint 

was also a 10 reales "RESELLADO" struck at Bilbao, Madrid, Santander 
and Seville struck in the year 1821 only. These are restruck coins usually 
struck over French ecus. Madrid and Bilbao are quite common. Procla- 
mation pieces were produced in 4 Spanish cities and in 47 colonial cities. 
Some of the Proclamation coins of Ferdinand carry denominations and 
thus can hardly be called medals. 

The coinage of the New World was likewise enormous. In Mexico, 
alone, there were in operation mints at Chihuahua, Durango, Guadala- 
jara, Guanajuato, Mexico City, Nueva Vizcaya, Oaxaca, Sombrerete, Real 
de Catorce, Valladolid and Zacatecas. Guadalajara and Mexico were the 
only mints in Mexico permitted to strike gold coins. For the first time 
since Charles and Johanna a copper coinage was issued at Mexico City. 
There was also a mint at Guatemala City and in Colombia there were 
Royalist mints at Santa Fe de Bogota and at Popayan. Santa Marta 
Colombia had an emergency issue in copper in the name of Ferdinand 
VII. In Venezuela there was a mint in Caracas that struck silver 4, 2 and 
1 reales. At Angostura (now known as Ciudad Bolivar) on the banks of 
the Orinoco River there was an emergency mint issuing crude copper 
% reales. Cuzco, Lima and Potosi in the Vice-royalty of Peru were 
the sites of mints during this reign but the output of Cuzco was small 


and consisted of 8 reales dated 1824 only. Santiago, Chile, was the last 
of the mints in America but Manila struck copper quartos and octavos. 
No account is taken here of the coinage of the revolutionary forces nor 
of the Royalist counterstamps. I have here a 10 reales "Resellado" of 
the Bilbao mint and a y% maravedi for Navarre. Also a 1 real of 

Isabella IE (1833-1868) mounted the throne at the tender age of 
three years. Her reign was one of continuous turmoil. The Spanish Salic 
Law of Philip V, which declared that only the male line should succeed 
to the Spanish throne, was evoked and Ferdinand's brother, Charles, 
declared himself king. This was the signal for the outbreak of the 
Carlist Wars, which lasted until 1840. Spain was ruled by a Regent 
until 1843 when Isabella was declared of age. The morals of Queen 
Isabella left much to be desired and there was a constant string of lovers. 
The morals of the Queen would probably have been overlooked but as 
she changed lovers every few months and with each change the new 
lover was appointed Prime Minister, the people finally got enough of it. 
In 1868 Isabella left for France and the government was taken over by 
a Provisional Government. 

8 Maravedises of Isabella U, 1837 Segovia Mint 

The coinage of Isabella II was plentiful but can not compare with 
that of her predecessors. This is accounted for mainly by the loss of 
the colonies. The only colonial mint during her reign was that of Manila. 
In Spain there were mints at Barcelona, Jubia, Madrid, Segovia and 
Seville. An innovation in mint marks appeared during this period. In 
1851 the two stars which normally appear on each side of the date 
began appearing with different numbers of points. An 8-pointed star 
signified the Barcelona mint, a 7-pointed star Seville, a 6-pointed star 
Madrid, a 5-pointed star Manila, a 4-pointed star Segovia and a 3-pointed 
star was for Jubia. These stars do not always appear flanking the date 
but they will be some place on the coin and they are the only method 
of telling the mint. In 1865 Isabella also changed the unit from reales 
to escudos. Isabella II also had two sets of Proclamation coins one in 
1833 when she mounted the throne, and the other in 1843 when she was 
declared legally of age. There were 38 in the first set and 14 in the 
second. There was an 8 maravedises cast in bell-metal from Pamplona 
in 1837. Here is a 1 escudo (1868) of Madrid and a 2y 2 centimos 
de escudo struck in Jubia. 


Escudo of Isabella H, 1868 Madrid Mint 

There is a series of very dangerous counterfeits of this Queen being 
sold by many dealers. These are a series of ephemeral coins struck for 
an English collector named Reginald Huth. They were engraved by 
John H. Pinches and were struck by Pinches & Company in London, 
They are beautiful jobs of engraving and striking but are rank forgeries. 

The next period in Spanish history is rather complicated. In Septem- 
ber, 1868, Admiral Topete and General Prim issued a manifesto declaring 
the dethronement of the Queen. The Queen's army was defeated in a 
battle which took place on the banks of the Guadalquivir at the bridge 
of Alcolea on September 29th. The following day a provisional govern- 
ment was formed. On February 15, 1869, the Provisional Government 
changed its name to the Executive Power. The following June General 
Serrano was made Regent and I have arbitrarily called the period 
between this date and the election of Amadeo I (on November 3, 1870) 
The Interregnum. Amadeo I ruled from November 3, 1870, until February 
11, 1873. Amadeo's abdication is one of the most poignant and impressive 
documents of its kind in existence (some day I hope to translate it for 
you). After the abdication of Amadeo I the First Republic was formed 
but constant quarreling among the leaders finally led to the recall of 
Isabella's son Alfonso in December, 1874. During this period the 
"Carlists," under the Pretender Charles VII, flourished also. 

The coinage of the period was varied as might be expected and 
at this point Spain issued her only true commemorative coin. This was 
a 25 one- thousandths of an escudo in copper which commemorated the 
Battle of Alcolea. The peseta, which had been introduced by Jose 
Napoleon at Barcelona, was again coined and remains to this day the 
monetary unit of Spain. Another innovation was the placing of dates on 
the stars that denote the mint. Coins were struck by the Provisional 

5 Pesetas of The Interregnum, 1870 Madrid Mint 


Government, the Interregnum, Arnadeo I, and the First Republic. The 
coins of the Interregnum and of the First Republic are identical and 
can only be distinguished by the small dates on the stars. Amadeo I 
struck only gold 100 and 25 pesetas and silver 5 pesetas were issued. 
Charles Vn, as pretender to the Spanish throne, also issued coins which, 
however, never circulated as legal tender. Here is a 25/1000 of an escudo 
and a 5 pesetas (1670) of the Provisional Government, a 2 pesetas (1869) 

5 Pesetas of Amadeo I, 1871 Madrid Mint 

of the Interregnum, a 5 pesetas of Amadeo I (1871), a 10 reales of 
the Canton of Cartagena (1873), a 2 pesetas (1873) of the First Republic 
and a 5 centimos (1876) of Charles VIC. 

Alfonso XII (1875-1885) was completing his military education 
at Sandhurst, in England, when he was called to the throne by General 
Campos on December 24, 1874. His rule, while marked with some internal 
dissension, was an uneventful one. 

The coinage was not large. Coins were struck by a Belgian company 
called Oeschger-Merdach & Co. who established a mint at Barcelona. 
The mint mark is O M ligated and an 8-pointed star. Coins were struck 
at Madrid and Manila. Here is a 1 peseta (1876) and a 5 centimos (1879). 

Alfonso XIII (1886-1931) was born after the death of his father 
and was king from the day of his birth until he abdicated in 1931. 
During this reign the Spanish- American War was fought and Spain lost 
the last of her colonies. 

The only mint in operation during this reign was at Madrid which, 
in addition to striking coins for Spain, issued a series of coins for 

Peso of Alfonso X1U, 1895 for Puerto Rico 


Puerto Rico and a 1 peso for the Philippine Islands. Here is a peso for 
the Philippines and one for Puerto Rico. 

Alfonso XIII abdicated in 1931 and the second republic was formed. 
The usual internal strife took place and resulted in the downfall of the 
second republic. It is difficult to determine the exact date of the termi- 
nation of the second republic as there are coins of the second republic 
dated 1938 and coins of Generalissimo Franco dated 1937. The present 
ruler of Spain is Francisco Franco who governs as caudillo or chieftain. 

The coinage of the second republic was small, consisting of a 1 peseta 
dated 1933 in silver, one nickel bronze 25 centimos dated 1934, a brass 
peseta 1937, bronze 50 and 25 centimos, 1937 and 1938, and an iron 
5 centimos. Postage stamps pasted on cardboard discs were also used. 
As during the period of the Catalan Revolt in 1640-1641 the citizens 
of Catalonia again put out a token coinage in base metals. I know of 
the following: Asturias and Leon, L'Ametella del Valles, Ibi, Arenys de 
Mar, Minorca, Olot, Santander Palencia and Burgos, Segarra de Gaia, 
Viscaya, Nulles, and Sarroca. Here is a 1 peseta in silver 1933, a bronze 
25 centimos 1938, a 2 pesetas of the Viscayan Republic and a 25 centimos 
postage stamp pasted on a cardboard disc. 

General Franco has not issued many coins. His 5 and 10 centimos 
in aluminum, however, have the Horseman with a lance on the reverse 
as did the ancient Celt-Iberian coins. Here is a 10 centimos 1945 and a 
5 pesetas 1949. 

Comparative Nomenclature of Coins 

One of the most Interesting features of numismatics is the investigation 
as to the origin of the names which have been applied to coins. It must 
always be remembered that the monetary officials . . . recognized some 
common standard of exchange in many instances based on a weight 
and adopted it with corresponding multiples and divisions. It will also be 
seen that the denominations were retained long after the original basic 
weight had been abandoned, i.e., the metrology was ignored. Another 
method for naming coins was to bestow on them the cognomen or title of 
the ruler or monarch whose portrait was a conspicuous feature of the 
piece; and this likewise applies to a district or locality which was identified 
with its origin. But popular sentiment must also be taken into account, 
and it will be observed the common people, those through whose hands the 
coins passed every day, were quick to notice any marked feature or original 
device on a newly issued piece of money, and were prompt to give it a 
name of their own, in defiance of any official designation that it originally 
received. Oddly enough, the popular sobriquet, which was not infrequently 
an actual nickname, was retained in the vocabulary, and, in some instances, 
actually superseded the official designation entirely. Excerpt from "Some 
Denominations of Spanish and Italian Coins" by A. R. Frey, The Nu- 
mismatist, December, 1917. 


P. K. Anderson 

Collectors of American coins know about Edwards and Idler and 
Bolen and specialists in the ancient series know about Becker, Cristo- 
doulos and the Paduans. These pieces are in many collections and are 
bought and sold on the market, but when they change hands they do 
so under their true colors. Also, in a collection, usually they are indexed 
for what they are and I do not decry the sale of these pieces as a col- 
lection to be complete should have them. 

Recently, there has appeared on the market a large number of coins 
in the Spanish series which come in the above category but which are 
offered for sale as PATTERNS when they really are imaginary coins. 
Or at the best, they are the products of wishful thinking. I refer to 
the tokens struck for the late Reginald Huth between 1892 and 1904. 

They were struck by Pinches & Company for and under the 
direct supervision of Mr. Huth. The dies were engraved by John H. 
Pinches. In every instance, in the Spanish part of the series, the reverse 
of the token is a copy of some Spanish coin, while the obverse carries 
the bust of the supposed issuer. Mr. Huth seemed to specialize in 
dethroned Queens for his issues purport to be of Isabella IE of Spain, 
Maria Cristina who was her daughter-in-law and the infant King Alfonso 
XTTT. Also, there are pieces, purporting to be coins, of Ranavalo III, 
Queen of Madagascar, Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii and her niece, 
Princess Kaiulani. 

These pieces appeared on the open market when Mr. Huth's col- 
lection was sold by Sotheby & Company in 1927 and in the intervening 
years have lost their identity and are now being offered as true patterns 
which is a misnomer, as they were never intended for circulation. They 
were struck in many metals and were supposedly a limited issue, but I 
am beginning to think that the dies were not destroyed and ,that there 
has been a reissue. 

A description of the Spanish part of this coinage follows: 

(1) -ISABELLA II: 100 Pesetas 1894; Obverse: Veiled Bust to left wear- 
ing Coronet. Date and Star below. Legend: ISABEL 2a POR LA GRACIA DE 
DIOS. Reverse: Crowned arms of Spain with Collar of the Golden Fleece on a 
Mantle; Legend: REIN A DE LAS ESPANAS J, P. 100 PESETAS. L. J. P. is 
the initials of the engraver, John Pinches and L is for London. Edge: DIOS 
ES EL REY DE LOS REYES. They were struck in the following amounts: 
Platinum (2); Gold (2); Iridium (1) and Iron (1). 


(2) -ISABELLA II: 100 Pesetas 1894; Obverse: Same as (1); Reverse: 
Four scrolled loops in cruciform (also known as the "Cruz de Pelayo"), Shield 
with three Lis in center, Castle and Lion in angles. Legend: REINA DE LAS 
ESP AN AS. Edge: As No. 1 above. They were struck in the following amounts: 
Gold (2); Rhodium (1); Palladium (1) and Iron (1) 

(3) ISABELLA II: 4 Pesetas 1894; Obverse: Same as (1); Reverse: 
Same as (2) but with Legend REINA DE ESPANA Y LAS INDIAS 4 
PESETAS. Edge: Milled. They were struck in the following amounts: Silver 
(100); Copper (1); Nickel (1) and Iron (1). 

(4) MARIA CRISTINA Regent; 100 Pesetas 1894; Obverse: Bust to 
Right; Legend: MARIA CRISTINA REGENTE 1894. Reverse: Same as (3). 
Edge Milled. They were struck in the following amounts: Platinum (1) and 
Gold (1). 

(5) MARIA CRISTINA Regent: 4 Pesetas 1894; Obverse: Same as (4); 
Reverse: Same as (3). Edge: Milled. They were struck in the following 
amounts: Silver (25); Copper (1); Nickel (1) and Iron (1). 

(6) ALFONSO XIH: 100 Pesetas 1896; Obverse: Boyish Bust to Right; 
Legend: ALFONSO XIII POR LA GRACIA DE DIOS * 1896 *. Reverse: 
Same as (1) but with Legend: REY CONSTL DE ESPANA J. P. 100 PESETA 
S. L. Edge: Plain. They were struck in the following amounts: Gold (3). 

(7) ALFONSO XIII: 20 Centimos 1896; Obverse: Same as (6); Reverse: 
Crowned Arms of Spain between two Laurel Branches, L below. Legend: 


struck in the following amounts: Silver (4); Copper (100) and Tin (50). 

(8) ISABELLA II: 200 Pesetas 1904; Obverse: Elderly Veiled Bust to 
Right. Legend: ISABEL. 2 A. POR. LA. GRACIA. DE. DIGS. Reverse: Arms 
of Castile and Leon in tressure of 8 Loops. Legend: 4. REINA DE ESPANA 
4 DOSZIENTAS PESETAS. Edge: Plain. They were struck in Gold, Silver, 
Iron and Lead. Also in Piedfort. 

(9) -ISABELLA II: 150 Pesetas 1904; Obverse: Same as (8) Reverse: 
"Ave Maria" Monogram surmounted by a cross dividing DS 30 in field. Legend: 
were struck in Gold, Silver and Copper. Also in Piedfort. 

(10) ISABELLA II: 5 Pesetas 1904; Obverse: Same as (8). Reverse: 
Same as (9) except denomination in legend which is CINCO PESETAS. Edge: 
Plain. They were struck in Silver, Copper and Lead. . 

(11) ISABELLA II: 50 Pesetas 1904; Obverse: Same as (1) except date 
1904. Reverse: Same as (1) except denomination 50 PESETAS. Edge: Plain. 
They were struck in Platinum, Gold and Copper. 


(12) -ISABELLA II: 40 Pesetas 1904; Obverse: Same as (1) except date 
1904. Reverse: Same as (1) except denomination 40 PESETAS. Edge: Plain. 
They were struck in Platinum, Gold, Copper and Bronzed Nickel. 

Numbers (1) to (10) inclusive are 35 millimeters in diameter while (11) is 
28 millimeters and (12) is 26% millimeters in diameter. 

Other strikings of Mr. Huth may be described as follows: 

(13) RANAVOLO III: Dollar 1886; Obverse: Crowned Bust of Queen facing 
in Royal robes. Legend: S. M. Ranavona III. Reverse: Crowned R Leeend* 

(14) RANAVOLO III: 20 Dollars 1895; Obverse: Facing Bust of Queen 
with veil, crowned. Legend: RANAVALO MANJAKA 3. Reverse: 18R95 within 
Heart in the center of a crowned Rose. Legend: RABODONANDRIANIMI- 
POINIMERINA (a pomegranate), MADAGASCAR (a lamb). They were struck 
in the following amounts: Platinum (1); Pure Gold (1): Silver (25)- Copper 
(1) and Iron (2). 

(15) RANAVOLO III: Dollar 1895; Obverse: Same as (14). Reverse: Cross 
of Jerusalem in tressure of four arches the inside points terminating in 
trefoils with guatrefoils in the outside angles. Legend: RABODONANDRIANI- 
MIPOINTMERINA (a crescent) 1895 (a crescent). They were struck in the 
following amounts: Platinum (1); Pure Gold (1); Palladium (1); Silver (25); 
Copper (1) and Iron (1). 

(16) LILIUOKALANI: 20 Dala 1893; Obverse: Bust wearing Coronet to 
Left. Legend: LILIVOCALANIA . DEI . GRATIA. Reverse: Two sceptres 
crossed under crown. 20D ALA/1893 two branches of convolvulus below. Legend: 
HAWAIARVM REGINA. Edge: Plain. They were struck in the following 
amounts: Pure Gold (3). 

(17) LILIUOKALANI: One Dala 1891; Obverse: Same as (16). Reverse: 
Map of the Hawaiian Islands. Legend: HAWAIARVM REGINA 1891 above, 
(star) AKAHI DALA (star) below. Edge: Plain. They were struck in the fol- 
lowing amounts: Pure Silver (50). 

(18) KAIULANI: One Dala 1893; Obverse: Head to Right surrounded by 
four dolphins (on some varieties there is only one dolphin). Legend: CAIV- 
the Hawaiian Islands. HONOLULU in minute letters. Legend: SPES PUB- 
LICA above; OCT . XVT . MDCCCXCIII below. They were struck in the 
following amounts: Gold (1); Silver (50); Copper (2); Iron (3) and Tin <1). 

Spain Counterstamps Gold Coins 

In connection with the Spanish gold currency scheme, it is proposed 
that foreign gold coins should circulate provisionally after being stamped 
with their Spanish equivalents. This method of providing temporary cur- 
rency has not been practiced for many years past in Spain or any other 
country. By impressing the Spanish value on the foreign gold the coin 
is disvalued for circulation in other countries. Excerpt from "Spain Goun- 
termarking Foreign Gold Coins/' The Numismatist, September, 1920. 



F. Xavier Calico 

In the history of Spain in the last century, with so many political 
events, the revolution of 1863 occupies an outstanding place. As far 
as numismatists are concerned, its importance is fundamental, inasmuch 
as the Provisional Government instituted, as a result of the revolution, 
the monetary unit known as the "peseta," strictly based upon the decimal 
metric system. 

The above mentioned government recognized the political impor- 
tance of monetary reform, and, in spite of the various serious problems 
with which it was confronted, a law was promulgated which meant the 
opening of a new era in the Spanish monetary system, just nineteen days 
after this government had come into power. 

In order to understand better the grave situation through which 
Spain was passing at the time, we think it useful to give here a brief 
account of the constant disturbances that occurred during the regime 
ultimately overthrown by the revolution of 1868. 

At the death of King Fernando VH, on the 29th of September 1833, 
the king having designated his daughter Isabel as heiress to the throne, 
Don Carlos, brother of the late king, did not recognize the will of 
Fernando VII as valid, arguing that the Salic Law ruling the succession 
to the Spanish throne, as established by the first Bourbon King Felipe V 
prevented this. Don Carlos therefore with the help of the Holy See, 
Austria, Russia, Prussia and the Italian kingdoms, organized a coali- 
tion aimed at seizing the power. 

Consequently, Spain split into two big factions: the Liberals, who 
adopted Isabel's party and included the most moderate elements up to 
the most extreme ones; and the Traditionalist, who supported Don 
Carlos 's claim, who defended the old institutions and ideas, which, they 
feared, would disappear through the innovations propounded by the 

Civil war broke out ruthlessly and ravaged Spain for over six years. 

On the 31st of August 1839, the "Carlist" war officially came to an 
end, by the Agreement of Vergara, whereby the army of Don Carlos was 
to be disbanded, with recognition of Isabel n as Queen of Spain. 

Although the war was virtually over, hostilities continued in sepa- 
rate localities in the country for some time, chiefly in Catalonia, as many 
followers of Don Carlos still existed hoping for an opportunity to impose 
their views. 

Queen Isabel II was by then eight years of age and under the guard- 
ianship of her mother, the Dowager Queen Regent Maria Cristina of 

The secret wedding of the Queen Regent, to an officer of the 
Palace, created great unrest and brought about the establishment of a 
Revolutionary Committee in Madrid and finally, the downfall of Maria 
Cristina on the 12th of October, 1840, when General Espartero, respon- 
sible for the successful Agreement of Vergara, was appointed as Regent. 


On the 27th of September, 1841, General Espartero was compelled 
to face a plot instigated by the Dowager Queen from Paris, supported 
by noted generals. 

In the following year, a serious rebellion broke out in Barcelona, 
which was put down by Gen. Espartero by a bombardment of the city. 

In May, 1843, on the occasion of the dissolution of the Cortes, an 
uprising started in several parts of the country, under the command of 
Generals Serrano, O'Donell and Narvaez. 

General Espartero being eliminated, new outbursts occurred, and 
Barcelona was again bombarded. 

To strengthen the position of the government, it was decided to 
advance the coming of age of the young Queen, who, on the 10th of 
November, 1843, swore loyalty to the Constitution, by which began the 
personal rule of Isabel U. 

In 1844, the Prime Ministers of Spain, first Gonzalez Bravo, then 
Gen, Narvaez later in the same year, were obliged to quell some more or 
less violent insurrections, organized by the so-called "progressists," 
at Alicante, Madrid and Haro. The result of this repression was that 
in one year, the government ordered two hundred and fourteen people 
to be shot, Gen. Zurbano and his sons amongst them. 

In 1846, the government presided over by Isturiz, put down a 
further "progressist" insurrection in Galicia. 

In view of the revolutions that had broken out at that time in 
several countries of Europe, and in order to forestall the reaction that 
this might cause in Spain, Gen. Narvaez received dictatorial powers in 
1848, and he crushed the riots that broke out in Madrid and Seville, at 
the same time causing fresh "Carlist" activities in Catalonia to be 
wiped out. 

By virtue of the stern discipline imposed by Gen. Narvaez, and the 
successful action by the Bravo Murillo Government that succeeded him, 
the country enjoyed a period of relative quiet. However, in 1854, whilst 
Sartorius was in office, some moderate elements led by Generals Dulce 
and O'Donell, uprose and met the government troops at Vicalvaro. 

Nevertheless, the result of the fight being in doubt the revolution- 
aries secured the support of the "progressist* ' party, and the govern- 
ment was finally overthrown. 

A Cabinet was then formed, presided over by Generals Espartero 
and O' Donell, who in the following year, had to quell some Republican 
rebellions in both Barcelona and Valencia. 

During the next two years, from 1856 to 1857, rebellions and insur- 
rections took place at Burgos, Valladolid, Palencia, Benavente, Barce- 
lona, Zaragoza, Jaen, Teruel, Alicante and Murcia, and important 
encounters between revolutionaries and government forces occurred 
in Madrid. 

The birth of Prince Alphonso, afterwards Alphonso XU, and the 
foundation of the "Union Liberal" party, afforded a new peaceful 
period of seven years. 

In 1865, students violently demonstrated in Madrid, and the way in 
which they were repressed caused great indignation. 

General Prim, one of the greatest enemies of Isabel n, organized a 


number of risings during 1866-1867, and even though they all failed, 
they were gradually undermining the power of the Queen's governments. 

The enemies of the dynasty became stronger and stronger in in- 
creasing numbers. 

In addition, the death of Gen. O'Donell in November, 1867, and 
that of Gen. Narvaez in April, 1868, two personalities on whose great 
prestige and influence Isabel II had so far relied, increased the difficult 
situation of her party. 

In the month of September, 1868, Admiral Topete in command of 
the Navy then at anchor at Cadiz, revolted, and together with Gen. 
Prim, issued a Manifesto called "Spain with Honour/' declaring the 
dethronement of Isabel II. 

Gen. Prim went to Catalonia to raise an army, whilst Gen. Serrano, 
also one of the most important rebels, recruited another army in Seville. 

On the 29th of September, a battle took place between the revolu- 
tionary army and the Queen's. They met upon both banks of the river 
Guadalquivir at the Bridge of Alcolea, this battle being named after it. 

The Queen's forces were thrown back, and subsequently most of its 
components went over to the revolutionary side. 

Isabel II, who was by then in San Sebastian, passed over to France, 
where she died on the 9th of April, 1904, having already abdicated in 
1870 in favour of her son Alphonso XII. 

The revolution having succeeded, a "Gobierno Provisional" was 
formed on the 30th of September, 1868, taking on the name of "Poder 
Ejecutivo" on the llth of February of the following year. 

On June 15th, 1869, Gen. Serrano was made Regent and on the 3rd 
of November 1870, the Cortes elected Don Amadeo of Savoy, Duke of 
Aosta, third son of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, as King of Spain, 
so that the temporary office of Chief -of -State was finally brought to 
an end. 

In the foregoing, we believe that the complexity of the situation 
the "Gobierno Provisional" had to face has been well explained, and the 
fact that one of their first steps was in connection with monetary reform, 
gives us a clear idea of its real importance. 

The great variety of coins then circulating in Spain made the 
business life of the country exceedingly difficult, as constant checks on 
their authenticity and weight were required. 

In order to remedy this situation various regulations had already 
been issued. 

Under Isabel II, the first decree was published on April 15th, 1848, 
establishing the basis of a semi-decimal system, by creating the "Doblon" 
of Isabel, worth 100 "reales" gold, the "Duro," of 20 reales silver with 
its divisions, and the Medio Real, the Decima of Real and the Media 
Decima for copper coins. Other regulations additional to this decree 
were issued in 1855 and 1861, such as that of dividing the unit "real" 
into 100 parts, for accounting purposes, but none of these must have 
been considered as useful, as on the 26th, June, 1864, the Queen signed 
a new monetary law as decreed by the Cortes. 


By the above law, the unit silver coin "escudo" was created, fine- 
ness 900 weight 12.980 gr., with gold multiples of 10, 4, and 2 escudos, 
silver of 2 escudos with divisions of 40, 20, and 10 centimes ; and bronze 
of 5, 2%, 1, and y 2 centimes. 

This reform mainly aimed at facilitating trade with Latin America, 
since the escudo unit exactly equalled the half-peso, the current unit in 
those countries. 

All these laws did not ease the situation as regards the complicated 
monetary circulation; on the contrary, with the addition of the new 
coins matters only became still more confused. 

It was then, that Don Laureano Figuerola, Minister of Finance for 
the Provisional Government, no doubt wishing to bring this situation 
to an end, issued a decree on the 19th of October, 1868, whereby a new 
monetary system was adopted, establishing the "peseta" as monetary 
unit, and withdrawing all currency struck prior to this law. 

The new monetary unit, the "Peseta," was equivalent to 100 cen- 
times, and it was established in the decree that gold pieces, of fineness 
900 and weight 325806 gr. per peseta, worth 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 
pesetas, should be struck. 

Silver, of fineness 900 and weight 25 gr. worth 5 pesetas; of fine- 
ness 835 and weight 10, 5, 2.50 and 1 gr. respectively worth 2 and 1 
pesetas with decimals worth 50 and 20 centimes, was provided for. 
Bronze was also provided with a copper of fineness 950; tin fineness 
040 ; and zinc fineness 010, weight 1 gr. per centime, worth 10, 5, 2 and 
1 centimes. 

The designs to be represented on the coins were mentioned in the 
decree in question as well as an order that the initials of the officials 
held responsible for the accuracy of fineness and weight, should be 
marked on all coins. 

A further decree of the same date ordered the calling of a competi- 
tion to submit designs for the dies; those adopted were to be acquired 
by the State and utilized for striking the coins. 

In this competition, the engravers, Jose Lozano, for his models for 
gold coins, and Luis Planiol, for his models for bronze coins, were 
both rewarded. 

The political instability prevented the 1868 law to be put into effect 
in all respects, more especially in regards to the withdrawal from cir- 
culation of the old coins. 

A contemporary author writing in 1871, stated that there were 97 
different kinds of coins in circulation, belonging to seven different 
monetary systems, established in Spain at different times since 1772, 
since the recall of older coinage provided for by the different reforms, 
had not been carried out. 

On the other hand, the new copper coin issued in centimes of the 
peseta, met with the temporary opposition of the public, but under the 
rule of Alphonso XII, the use of the new coin became general, and in 
1887, a decree declared that any currency not adjusting itself to the 
unit created by the 1868 law was to be considered as illegal, and a 
term was fixed for its exchange. 



No. 1. Pattern coin commemorating the Battle of the Bridge of Alcolea 

a wreath of evergreen oak: 29 DE-SETIEMBRE-1868 

REV: * SOBERANIA NACIONAL. The Aqueduct of Segovia within a 
laurel wreath. 

Smooth edge. AE. 

This pattern commemorative coin must have been struck prior to the 

decree establishing the "peseta," as it adheres to the escudo system. 

The six-pointed stars figuring thereon, indicate that the patterns were 

struck at the Madrid Mint. No records appertaining to the same have 

been found. 

No. 2. Pattern coin or Medal of the 5 Pesetas coin. 

OBV: ESPANA. A Matron with mural crown to 1. reclining over the 
Iberian Peninsula, leaning her 1. arm upon the Pyrenees, her 
r. arm uplifted and holding an olive branch in her hand. In the 
exergue: L.M.1868. 

ish Coat-of-Arms with mural crown and the Pillars of Hercules. 
Smooth edge. 

Of this medal there are silver and copper pieces, the silver ones weigh- 
ing 25 g. and the copper ones 24 and 50 g. 

The initial letters L. M. figuring on the Obv. refer to Luis Marchioni, 
General Engraver to the Madrid Mint from the 29th of July, 1861, to 
the 15th of October, 1873. 

Although the types of this medal are the same as those of the "duros" 
that were struck later, they vary somewhat in detail, chiefly in the 
relief which is much higher. 


S Donato Alvarez Santullano, Assayer of the Madrid Mint, from the 
29th of June, 1867 to the 28th of February, 1873. 

N Jose Rafael Narvaez, Assayer of the Madrid Mint, from the 29th of 
June, 1867 to the 31st of July, 1870. 

M Angel Mendoza Ordonez, the checker of the 'weight of the Madrid 
Mint, from the 29th of March, 1867, to the 30th of November, 1892. 


No. 3. Peseta. 

OBV: GOBIERNO PROVISIONAL. Same type as previous one. In the 
exergue *1869*. 

type as previous one. 

Milled edge. AR. 

The Provisional Government changed its name to "Executive Power," 
on the llth of February, 1869. This peseta must therefore have been 
struck at a previous date. The number of this type struck cannot be 
known as it is included in the statistics with those of other types of the 
same year. 


No. 4. 5 Pesetas. 

OBV- Same type as No. 2, with sixpointed star at the beginning and 
the end of legend. On the exergue: -1869. Within the first 
star: 18 and within the second star: 69. 

.M. On the edge: SOBER ANIA NACIONAL, and 5 (five) six- 
pointed stars. AR. 

In the statistics of the Mint, no striking of pieces of 5 Pesetas is re- 
ported for the year 1869. Very few of them must have been struck 
and they were probably mentioned together with those for the follow- 
ing year. They are very rare. 


No. 5. 2 Pesetas. 

OBV: Same as previous one. 

as previous one. 

Milled edge. AR. 

3,269,853 pieces were struck. 

No. 6. Peseta. 

OBV: Same as No. 4. 

type as previous one. 

Milled edge. AR. 

7,367,146 pieces were struck. 


No. 7. 50 centimes. Same type as No. 4. 

OBV: Inside the first star the number 6 and inside the second star 
the number 9. 

REV: 400 PIEZAS EN KILOGRAMO S.N. 50 CENT. .M. Same type as 
previous one. 

Milled edge. AR. 

452,726 pieces were struck. 

No. 8. 20 centimos. 

OBV: Same as previous one. 


Milled edge. AR. 

The coins of 20 centimos never came to be effectively in cicrculation. 
In the statistics for the year 1869 no striking of pieces of 20 centimos 
is registered. Exceedingly few must have been struck and they were 
probably entered into the records together with those for the following 
year. They are very rare. 



No. 9. 5 Pesetas. 

OBV: Same type as No. 4. On the exergue: 1870. Inside the stars: 


REV: Same as No. 4. 
5,923,455 pieces were struck. 

No. 10. 2 Pesetas. 

OBV: Same type as No. 5. On the exergue: 1870. Inside the stars: 


REV: Same as No. 5. 
Milled edge. AR. 
1,503,972 pieces were struck. 

No. 11. Peseta. 

OBV: Same type as No. 6. On the exergue: 1870. Inside the stars: 


REV: Same as No. 6. 
Milled edge. AR. 
3,865,169 pieces were struck. 

No. 12. 50 Centimes. 

OBV: Same type as No. 7. On the exergue: 1870. Inside the stars: 7-0. 

REV: Same as No. 7. 

Milled edge. AR. 

539,808 pieces were struck. 

No. 13. 20 Centimes. 

OBV: Same type as No. 8. On the exergue: 1870. Inside the stars: 7-0. 

REV: Same as No. 8. 

Milled edge. AR. 

These pieces are recorded as struck in 1871, as, very probably, the work 

was not completed until that year. Only 5,091 pieces were struck and 

they never effectively circulated. They are rare. 

FOURTH ISSUE OF "1870" WITH THE INITIALS "SJD" y "M equivalent to: 

S. Assayer (see issue) 

D. Eduardo Diaz Pimienta, Second Assayer on the 31st of July 1870. 

First Assayer on the 19th May 1873. Ceasing July 1878. 

M. - CHECKER OF THE WEIGHT (See First Issue) 

No. 14. 100 Pesetas. 

OBV:* ESPANA.* Female figure facing, standing on Iberian Peninsula, 


looking to the 1. and pointing with her r. hand towards the 
Straits of Gibraltar and holding an olive branch in her 1. hand. 
On the exergue: 1870. Inside first star figures 18 and inside 
second star, figures 70. To 1. of field: L. MARCHIONI. 

PESETAS .M. Spanish Coat-of-Arms with royal crown and mantle, 
surrounded by Golden Fleece. On edge: SOBERANIA NACIONAL and 
5 six-pointed stars. Remark. These coins should be considered as pat- 
terns. A small number of them is known to have been struck, although 
not on record in the Mint. They are extremely rare. 


The coining of bronze coins as arranged by the law of the 19th of October 
1868, was entrusted by contract to the firm Oeschger & Mesdach, of Ter Kiel 
(Belgium), who carried out the order in Barcelona. For this reason, eight- 
pointed stars are represented on them, the mark of the Barcelona Mint, and 
the monogram formed by the O and the M of the makers. 

No. 15. Pattern 10 Centimes piece. 

OBV:* DIEZ GRAMOS* 1870. Inside a dotted circle: Female figure to 
1. sitting upon the Pyrenees, r. arm lifted and holding an olive 
branch. In the exergue: A.C. 

dotted circle: Lion advancing to 1. holding the Spanish oval 
Coat-of-Arms. In the exergue: Monogram M. 

Plain edge. AE. 

The design of this piece corresponds exactly to the requirements laid 
down for the Competition; the model definitely adopted was however 
notably different. They are rare. 

No. 16. 10 Centimes. 

OBV: DIEZ GRAMOS 1870. Inside dotted circle: Female figure sitting 
r. on the Pyrenees, her 1. arm lifted and her r. resting upon 
mountains and holding an olive branch. In the exergue: L. 

circle: Lion rampant to r. head turned to 1. supporting the 


In the exergue: Monogram M. 

Spanish oval Coat-of-Arms. 
Plain edge. AE. 

These coins continued to be struck without variation until 1876. 
Pieces struck totalled 170,088,104. 

No. 17. 5 Centimes. 

OBV: CINCO GRAMOS, Same as previous type. 

REV: *DOSCIENTAS PIEZAS EN KILOG. Same as previous type. 

Plain edge. AE. 

Total quantity struck from 1870 to 1876: 287,380,761 pieces. 

3N"o. 18. 2 Centimes. 

OBV: DOS GRAMOS. Same type as No. 16. 


type as No. 16. 
Total struck from 1870 to 1876: 115,868,832 pieces. 

No. 19. Centime. 

OBV: UNGRAMO. Same type as No. 16. 

REV: *MJL PIEZAS EN KILOG.* UN CENTIMO. Same type as No. 16. 

Plain edge AE. 

Total struck from 1870 to 1876: 169,890,697 pieces. 


Either under the rule of Amadeo I (2nd January 1871 to llth February 
1873) or during the Republic (llth February 1873 to 31st December 1874), in 
addition to the bronze coins already described, silver coins of the same types 
as issued by the Provisional Government were struck. No reference is made 
here to these coins, since by the date inside the stars it is possible to classify 
them under the corresponding government. 

The initials of the assayers D.E. are found on these coins, corresponding 
to: D: Eduardo Diaz Pimienta, Assayer, (see Fourth Issue). 


E: Julio de la Escosura y Tablares, Assayer to the Madrid Mint as from 
19th May 1873 to 13th July 1878. 


Arlstizabal. Fabrica National de Moneda y Timbre. 1943. 

Archlvo de la Casa de Moneda de Madrid. 

Calico. Catalogo de la Coleccion, C.T. (in press) 

Campaner y Fuertes. Memorial Numismatico Espanol, 1873. 

Cancio "Villa-amil. Situation del Tesoro Publico, Memoria 1871. 

Garcia Gonzalez. Tratado, 1875. 

Mateu y Hlopis. X>a Moneda Espanola, 1946. 

Pericot Garcia. I^a Espana Contemporanea, 1934. 

Planiol. Casa de la Moneda. 1917. 

Reventos Bardoy. Isabel H, etc. 1937. 

Revue Belg-e de Numismatique, 1871. 




George Requard 

The history of money in France is very interesting and, up until quite 
modern times, very confusing. There have been many changes both as to 
the form of the money itself, particularly until the time of the French 
Revolution, and in our own day especially as to the value of the money, 
while there has been little change in the currency form and denomination, 
especially since 1914. 

In the early days, even before Gaul became a province of Rome, there are 
evidences of a Gallic metal money. From the few remaining specimens in 
gold, silver and billon, one might say pre-historic days, this money seems to 
have followed Greek rather than Roman example. At any rate, Greek in- 
fluence is very evident. Indeed, Tacitus intimates that Greek coins were used 

Rome, Denarius, Rufus Family, About 1OO B. C. 

in the early days before and for some time after the Roman Conquest, and 
that some of the Gallic tribes still made their own coinage in a small way 
even after the Conquest in Caesar's day. The latter bear a decided re- 
semblance to the early British and Celtic coins, of which the remains are 
also known, and it is difficult to definitely distinguish one from the other. 
During the Imperial days the Roman denariu-s and aureus were used. 

After the decline of the Imperial power and the overthrow of the empire 
there was no regular coinage in the western part of the Continent, and the 
remains of the Roman issues served, with a few additions of the more 
powerful but transitory chieftains of the Goths, etc. Presently the Byzan- 
tine coinage became the standard and was extensively copied in the Western 
districts. The solidus and the triens, crude copies of the Roman aureus and 
the denier a ragged silver piece of unequal size, did duty in place of the 
fine old Roman pieces, I exhibit an aureus of Hadrian, A. D. 117, and a 
triens of Heraclius, A. I>. 610. You will notice what a marked difference in 
the workmanship the two coins show. All of the coins became progressively 
more crude as the Roman influence declined. 


The first real coinage we find in any volume after the Roman period is the 
Merovingian issues. These are not really French, but German, since the 
Merovingian kings were more Teuton than Frank. They are very crude 
and mostly silver and billon, with very little gold. To add to the confusion, 
there were three kinds of currency the regal, the feudal and the ecclesias- 
tical. Many of the nobles and the fighting bishops were powerful enough 
to mint their own coins and force them into circulation side by side with 
the king's coins, and the latter was not strong enough to stop them. This 
state of affairs persisted and has been a source of much trouble in France 
until the days of the Bourbons, and even later down to the Revolution. 

The denominations continued to be the solidus, the triens in gold and the 
denier with its minor denominations. The denier was based on the Roman 
denarius, although the size varied at times, being larger now and then 
smaller, and I think more often resembled the antoniniani. The denier 
did not subdivide on the decimal system, but divided into 6s, 4s, and 2s, the 

Rome, Itenarius, Julia Mamaea, 2253-235 A, D. 

parts being called obols, which shows that Greek influence was still felt. 
It appears that the denier had an approximate value of about 18 to 20 cents 
in values of today, but, of course, its purchasing power in those days must 
have been much greater. 

The Carlovingian period succeeded the Merovingian about 800 A. D. Char- 
lemagne was really a German, so that the coinage still cannot be called 
French. The denier was still used, but gold disappeared from circulation 
and the coinage became more crude than before, although Charlemagne 
attempted to correct this condition. There were too many nobles and 
bishops, etc., making their own coins at too many mints. 

Although French history, as such, begins with the Capetian line or dynasty 
about 1000 A. D., there was little improvement, if any, until the days of 
St Louis, that is Louis IX, who came to the throne in 1226 A. D. Louis IX 
made an effort to curb the indiscriminate coinage, and did put a stop to 
some of the feudal minting, but not by any means all of it. Paris and 
Tours became the principal mint places for the regal issues. The denier 

Rome, Aureus, Hadrian, 117-138 A. D. 

had depreciated very sadly by his time, so that he was able to put it on a 
firmer basis. He issued the famous gros tournois, which was about the 
size of our half dollar, but thinner, and equivalent to four of the denier of 
his day. They still worked on a four and two basis, and not tens or decimals. 
The gros tournois was minted at Tors, whence the name, and it became 
very popular as a standard and spread outside of France on the Continent. 
Louis also minted a gold royal, somewhat larger than our $5, but thinner, 
and the ecu d'or being the quarter of the royal. 

About a hundred years later, in 1328, the Valois line came into power 
and there were more changes. Gold became more in use and the angel 
(about our $10 size) and the mouton d'or ($5 size) were the principal coins 
of gold. Mouton means lamb, so that the French had a golden lamb if not 
a golden calf. The franc d'or and also in silver appeared, the latter being 
the size of our silver $1. It appears not to have been popular and was 
superseded by the ecu of silver in 1642. During these years the English 


were frequently marauding in Prance and their coins were also current. 
It must have been difficult to keep accounts under these conditions, and one 
wonders how people ever knew where they stood financially. Also, during 
these years the church authorities resumed minting on a larger scale, as did 
some of the barons. 

The coinage continued of crude workmanship. Crudeness of coinage is 
characteristic in France as well as elsewhere, even down to the golden age 
of the Bourbons and through Louis XIV, Louis XV and to the Revolution, 
seldom being round and with the design badly executed. Prom 1380 to 1610, 
covering the reigns of eleven monarchs, was probably the worst period. 

When the Bourbons came to the throne in 1610, with Louis XIII, the 
coins became better made, apparently inspired by the craftsman Briot, al- 
tnough it is not certain that Briot actually was employed by the French 
Crown. "With the Bourbons, the fleur-de-lis, the French lily, began to be 
extensively employed on the reverse of the coinage. The famous louis d'or 
first appeared under Louis XIII in 1640, being about the size of a $5 gold 

Byzantium, Triens, Heraclius I, 61O-641 A. IX 

piece, but a little larger, possibly a six dollar size, if there were such. There 
was also the half louis, but the silver ecu became the popular coin, about the 
size of our silver $1. This was made up of 60 sols, divided into bronze coins 
of twelfths and sixths, so that the ancient duodecimal calculations persisted 
a while longer. The Bourbons maintained a fine uniformity of coinage with 
innovations until the Revolutionary days and the passing of the ancient 
regime with Louis XVI. 

I exhibit a few silver pieces of the ecu d'argent, a two-sol piece of Louis 
XVI and a louis d'or of the same monarch. The similarity of the louis to the 
English guinea is apparent, not the sovereign. The gold louis was also called 
the livre or pound, and, being somewhat larger than the English sovereign, 
was perhaps the reason for minting the guinea in England, possibly with an 
idea of making the two coins interchangeable so as to avoid confusion. At 
any rate, after the louis was no longer minted in France the guinea dis- 
appeared from the English coinage, being last minted under George III 
about 1816. 

Metz, I>enier, Rol>ert de Lenonoourt, 1551-1555. 

After Louis XVI was beheaded in 1793 the next few years present a period 
of utter confusion. For thirteen years the dates do not appear according to 
our calculations. Among other things, the Revolution tried to abolish the 
calendar, so that we find the coins dated L'An 1 to L'An 13, corresponding 
to 1792 to 1804. These years comprise the First Republic, the days o the 
Terror with Danton, Robespiere & Company, through the Directoire and the 
Consulate of Napoleon until he proclaimed himself Emperor in 1804. Gold, 
as usual, went into hiding. For a short while there was little change in the 
subsidiary coinage, since the remnants of the old system, the sol, the denier, 
and the ecu of silver, etc., were sufficient to care for the needs of the time. 
But difficulties arose before long and in 1795-6 an attempt was made to avoid 
financial embarassment by overstamping the current coins for double the 
value and forcing their circulation by fiat. Thus a ten-centime piece called 
the decime, was made to pass for ten times its value, but the scheme of course 


failed dismally. Then followed the flood of paper money called the assignats, 
with a rapidly depreciating scale of value and which became worthless almost 
as fast as it was issued. One good thing the Revolution did was to abolish 
all the feudal and seignorial and ecclesastical currencies, never to return. 

Order came again with the Consulate and Napoleon as First Consul. The 
old silver disappeared and was definitely and finally replaced by the five- 
franc silver piece. The size of the new coin was practically the same as the 
ecu and the franc as we know it and became the standard coin. Also, the 
old system of twelve was discarded and the decimal system for the parts of 

France, Louis d'Or, Ixmis XVI, 17&6. 

the unit was adopted. No longer do we have 60 sols making an ecu, but 100 
centimes making a franc. It is interesting to notice that the sol was roughly 
equivalent to five centimes, and eventually the five-centime piece, which 
was the lowest coin minted, came to be known as the sou, which is evidently 
a corruption of the word sol. The world should be grateful to Napoleon 
for the establishment of the decimal system of currency as well as for the 
metric system for weights and measurements. 

France, First Rejmblie, 2O Francs, Bonaparte, Consul, An. 12. 

The louis d'or also disappeared and its place was taken by the 20-franc 
gold piece. A 40-fraiic gold piece was also made but did not become popular. 
It was not until 1803 that the First Consul ventured to put his own portrait 
on the coin. In that year he appears as First Consul and the very next 
year, 1804, his portrait appears with the legend "Emperor." There is a 
piece of each description in my collection. Strangely, the coins described 
Napoleon as Emperor, but on the reverse appears the legend Republique 
Francaise, and this continued until 1808. It is a question as to why this was 

France, 2O Francs, Napoleon, Emperor, 1812. 

done and I do not know the answer except that it may have been inspired 
by a sense of caution on the part of the master politician. 

A curious thing is that no copper was coined by Napoleon and the remains 
of the old regal system still did duty, with a small supply of plated 5 and 10 
centime pieces added. Copper was not coined again until 1848 under the 
Second Republic. 

No change was made by the restored Bourbons after Napoleon, Louis 
XVIII, Charles X or Louis Phillipe, nor indeed has there been any change in 
the system established by Napoleon down to our own days. The official 


value of the franc was held unchanged until 1928, although the real value 
diminished sadly during the war years, but even the value held consistently 
from the First Napoleon for more than one hundred years until 1919. 
Nepoleon III introduced the gold 5-franc piece, of which I show a specimen. 
It was supposed to copy our $1 gold piece, and there are two modules verj 
similar to our two $1 gold sizes. During Napoleon Ill's time the 20-franc 
piece came to be known as the louis, and it continued to go by that name, 
the louis d'or, but of course it is by no means the same as the real louis d'or 
which went out with Louis XVI and the Bastille. 

France, 2O Francs, Louis XVTH, 1814. 

There was no change made under the Third Republic, which followed 
Napoleon III in 1871, and the coinage continued the same until the outbreak 
of the war or shortly after in 1914. Paper was used currently with coin in 
the last century, but not to the extent one might expect. The French were 
adherents of hard money, and the Banque de France notes generally circu- 
lated in large denominations. During the war, wheii silver went to unheard- 
of prices, the silver franc went into hiding or was melted for the bullion 
value. Paper francs were then issued by the Banque de France in five and 

France, Second Republic, ZO Francs, 1848. 

ten franc denominations, and the various chambers of commerce throughout 
the country issued token paper money for as low as fifty centimes. The last 
silver franc was made in 1918. At the end of the war all the paper money 
other than that of the Banque de France became worthless and was outlawed. 
Small denominations of two francs, one franc and parts thereof were minted 
of bronze and plated billon metal, but there has been no resumption of copper 
since 1914. 

In March, 1919, the control which the Bank of France had exercised with 
the aid of the Bank of England and J. P. Morgan Co. was abandoned 

France, Second Republic, 2O Francs, 185O. 

and there were all kinds of gyrations in the value of the franc, both at home 
and abroad. At one time the value was as low as two cents against the old 
value of 19 cents. This lasted until 1928, when the Government devalued 
the franc in relation to gold on a basis of slightly less than four cents 
expressed in dollars, but there was no new minting of coins and the bronzes 
continued to circulate as they do today. In 1932, after four years of sta- 
bilization, a new coinage of silver was made with silver coins of 10 and 20 
franc denominations, and a nickel 5-franc piece was added, while the smaller 


bronze and billon continued as before. All paper under 50 francs was with- 

The nickel 5-franc piece immediately got into trouble. There had never 
been any coinage of nickel in France, and nickel had never appeared in the 
legal descriptions of French coinage. A group of enterprising geniuses 
seized the opportunity and set up a private press of their own and made 
their own coins. Probably many thousands of five-franc nickel pieces wer* 
turned out, indistinguishable from the genuine pieces. The makers were 
soon arrested and jailed for their efforts, but the counterfeits were so fine 
that the Government stopped making them for a while, and when they did 
resume they made a different size. When brought to trial the culprits set up 
the defense that making nickel coins was no offense, there being no prohibi- 
tion under French law to that effect. It was expressly forbidden to any but 
the Government to make paper money or gold, silver, bronze, copper, etc., 
but no mention was made of nickel anywhere, and, therefore, the defense 
said that there had been no infringement of the law. The learned judge, 
being a logical-minded Frenchman, recognized the merit of this defense and 
dismissed the counterfeiters. Whether any honors were bestowed upon them 
for their enterprising spirit is not stated, but the deficiency in the law was 
corrected by the Chamber of Deputies and no more counterfeits appeared. 
Since then both the good and bad pass together, since nobody can tell them 
apart. But everybody is satisfied and French logic is vindicated. 

It is an interesting speculation as to what will happen to the new franc 
silver coins. When they were minted the new 10-franc piece was worth 
about 40 cents in exchange value, and the silver content perhaps ab.out 25 
cents. Devaluation of the dollar made the coin worth 65 cents, and with the 
devaluation of the franc the value returned to 45 cents. But the price of 
silver rose, too, so that the silver value of the 10-franc piece is now about 22 
cents. There is a prospect that the exchange value of the franc will sink to 
a lower level, and also a probability that silver will rise very much in inter- 
national value, especially if the Washington program is continued. So that 
it is within the range of possibility that the silver value of the franc may 
again exceed its exchange value and that the coins we have seen so recently 
will disappear as they did in 1918 and as had happened in Mexico, Peru and 
China as a result of the program at Washington. 

No gold has been minted since 1914. When the new silver coinage ap- 
peared in 1932 changes were made in the design of the bronze coins, too, 
and projects were entertained for the minting of gold. It was intended to 
coin gold in denominations of 100 francs, and it was said at the time that 
some coins had been made and were held in the Banque of France. But none 
have ever been seen, and though I have tried to obtain a specimen abroad 
none could be had. If they ever were made they must have all been melted 
again, but probably the whole thing is a myth. So it is a neat question 
whether there will ever again be a gold coin minted in France or even the 
United States or anywhere else in the world. And it is great pity, for many 
of us collectors do like our shiny yellow specimens. 

French WWI Emergency Coins 

According to a correspondent in Paris., collectors of rare coins now 
scrutinize closely every new silver franc and two franc piece which passes 
through their hands. They are looking for the war coins struck by the 
Mint at its temporary home at Castelsarassin. To the ordinary person these 
coins do not appear unusual, but the expert eye is quick to detect a tiny 
"G" engraved under the date 1914. 

The Mint now has returned to its home on the Quai de Conti in the 
old ^Latin Quarter, bringing with it a stock of these coins, its sole output 
during its exile in the south. For the numismatist they are the only war 
relics of any value. 

Paper money of small values, 50 centime and one franc notes have 
been issued in such quantities by the principal cities of France that they 
are not, and never will be, of a rarity that can be appreciated in terms of 
cash. Assignats, or paper money, issued by the revolutionary government 
in 1793 even now can be bought at second hand book shops in Paris for a 
cent apiece. "French Exile Coins/ 3 The Numismatist, February, 1915 


Shepard Pond 

To avoid needless complications in the siory, all dates are given according to the 
Gregorian Calendar , although in France during the "Republican Era" (September, 
1792, to January, 1806) all laws, documents, coins, etc., were dated according to the 
age of the Republic; thus, year XI or year 12. Curiously enough, Napoleon ordered 
coins struck in year 11 to be dated with Roman numerals fearing that Arabic num- 
erals for eleven 'mould look like two in Roman and thus remind the public of the 
horrors of the Reign of Terror which occurred in the year 2 

When, nearly thirty-five years ago, the writer, as a student on vacation, 
was traveling through the western part of France, he picked up in circula- 
tion two coins one a silver five-francs piece, the other a gold twenty-francs 
piece of Napoleon I. Both were of unusual interest, for that period of his- 
tory the French Revolution and the Napoleonic epoch has always fasci- 
nated the "writer; but over and above the acquisition of two pieces hitherto 
unseen was the puzzling fact that both bore apparently conflicting legends: 
On the obverse, "NAPOLEON EMPEREUR," on the reverse, "REPUBLJQUE 
FRANCAISE." It should be remembered that the gold pieces of Napoleon I 
were legal tender in France concurrently with later issues of gold and silver 
until the Great War and heavy currency depreciation drove all such coins 
into hiding or the melting pot. 

Yet the curious legends on those pieces were provoking, and only in years 
later did they become understood. No wonder, for many people, even some 
numismatists, think these are either freaks or exceptionally rare coins, is- 
sued perhaps by error. This is due to a general lack of understanding of 
the political transformation of the first French Republic to the Napoleonic 

History tells us that the French Republic came with the downfall of the 
old and decaying Bourbon monarchy in 1793. The execution of the in- 


competent King Louis XVI and his Queen Marie Antoinette and the Reign 
of Terror are probably the best- known incidents in the formation of the- 
Republic which in the years immediately following underwent several 
changes of executive government. The Reign of Terror was followed by the 
Directory a group of five men who exercised the executive power in a 
government which was, normally at least, constitutional, and had elected 
representatives. Under the Directory the frightful debacle of the Assig- 
nats(i), or depreciated paper money, was cleared up and the first steps 
taken toward resumption of a metallic currency. Our subject being the 
transition from the Republic to the Empire, we need not discuss the intro- 
duction of the metric system and its application of the new French Repub- 
lican coins. Suffice it to say that by the law of August 15, 1795, the franc 
was set as the base for the new currency and silver of various denomina- 
tions was ordered struck. This is the franc which endured until the de- 
preciation which came after the World War. Of these authorized silver 
pieces, the five-francs piece was the only coin struck for some years. 

The five francs of the Republic is familiar to many numismatists. It 
shows on the obverse a heroic group of three figures; Hercules uniting 
Equality and Liberty with the legend "UNION ET FORCE" while the re- 
verse bears the denomination "5 FRANCS" in a wreath of oak and olive 
branches, the date, and the legend "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE." On the 
edge, perhaps to reassure the nation after the calamitous experience of the 
Assignats, is the inscription "GARANTIE NATIONALS." This type, ob- 
verse and reverse, is shown as No. 1 in cur illustrations, and its issue con- 
tinued for some years with varying dates and mint marks. 

No. 1. 

Typical 5 francs of the first issue of the First Re- 
public. With minor clie changes this obverse was revived 
under the Second Republic of 1848 and the Third (pres- 
ent) Republic of 1870. All symbols and leg-ends are re- 

Not long after the first issue of five-francs pieces of this type the young 
French General Napoleon Bonaparte began his series of incredible victories 
that three years later brought him to a position where by a politico-military 
coup in 1799 he was able to overthrow the Directory, which by then had 
proved itself utterly unable to cope with the tremendous political, economic 
and military problems which weighed upon the nation. 

A new form of Executive emerged, a government of three consuls, elect- 
ed for a period of years, of which Napoleon Bonaparate was First Consul. 
Before long everyone realized the Second and Third Consuls were as nothing 
before the great talent and energy of Bonaparte, who individually assumed 
the reins of government. The coinage remained unchanged during the first 
years of the Consulate. 

It was not to be expected however that Bonaparate, victorious on the 
continent and for a time at least on good terms with England, could, as 
head of the Republican Government, resist the urge to see his effigy grace 
the national coinage. On March 9, 1803, his tenure of the First Consulate 
having recently been prolonged to a life term, Bonaparte ordered that a bill 
should be presented to the Legislature for the regulation of the coinage. 

(1) Described in the writer's article "The Assig-nats" in The Numismatist for 
January, 1935. 


This provided for coins of a "truly national type," the obverse showing the 
head of the First Consul with legend "BONAPARTE PREMIER CONSUL," 
and the reverse bearing the denomination within two olive branches, the 
date and mint mark below and the legend "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE." 
The new inscription on the edge of the five-francs piece, "DIEU PROTEGE 
LA FRANCE," testified to the government's recent concordat with the 
Roman Catholic Church in contrast to the irreligious sentiments of the 
Revolution. Needless to say, the law was passed promptly. The five-francs 
piece of this series is shown in illustration No. 2, Now, for the first time 
since the establishment of the franc, were minor silver coins and twenty 
and forty francs gold pieces struck. 

The nation had finally settled down under a strong and successful gov- 
ernment, hard money had returned to circulation, notable mechanical im- 
provements had been made in coining, so what more natural than a grand 
competition to design a new series of coins? For Bonaparte's energetic 
hand was reorganizing all branches of the government, and the French 
coinage compared poorly with the artistic and precise work then being done 
by French artists at Boulton's Birmingham Mint in England. Accordingly, 
a grand competition was opened in the Spring of 1803 and numerous artists 
invited to submit designs. 

And now we come to the type of coin that causes this story and recurring 
confusion in the minds of many people, as will be shown later. Bonaparte, 
we remember, was now First Consul for life and firmly in control of the 
country, yet several political plots and attempts on his life led many 

NO. a. 

The head of Bonaparte as First Consul replaces the 
republican allegory on the obverse. The reverse is un- 

thoughtful people to wonder what would happen to France if the ruler in 
effect a Dictator should die unexpectedly. So early in 1804 a member of 
the Tribunal asked in the Senate that the First Consul should be declared 
"Emperor" and that he should be in charge of the Constitutional Republic. 
This was done by the Senate on May 18, 1804, the first article of the first 
chapter of the law reading: "The Government of the Republic is entrusted 
to an Emperor who assumes the title of Emperor of the French." (Note: 
Not Emperor of France.) The second article decreed that, "Napoleon 
Bonaparte, First Consul of the Republic is Emperor of the French." The 
second chapter established the principle of heredity in the imperial office 
and that the imperial dignity was vested in Napoleon Bonaparte and his 
heirs. "Whereupon the ruler ceased the use of bis family name of Bona- 
parte and assumed that of Napoleon following established monarchial 

Looking back at events over a century old we can see that this was simply 
a step in Napoleon's progress to monarchy, but at that time is was explained 
otherwise. For example, the formula for the promulgation of future laws 
was to read, "Napoleon, by the Grace of God and the Constitutions of the 
Republic, Emperor of the French, to all present and to come, greetings." 
In other words, the Emperor whoever he might be was only the chief 
executive of the Republic. Thus, in the mind of the Senate the title of 
Emperor meant but the transition of the word Imperator (today we might 
paraphrase with the titles Fuehrer or Duce) , a dignity bestowed under 


the old Roman Republic on illustrious generals, a title adopted by Julius 
Caesar (himself a dictator), and which in Rome did not become the special 
title of the head of the state until the rule of Augustus, who united in him- 
self all power military, judicial and civil. 

All this happened during the period of competition for designs for a new 
coinage, so it is quite understandable that even before the award was made 
the coinage, which already bore the head of Napoleon, should have the 
legend on the obverse changed from "BONAPARTE PREMIER CONSUL" to 
"NAPOLEON EMPEREUR" while retaining the wording "REPUBLIQUE 
FRANCAISE" on the reverse, A five-francs piece of this type is shown in 
illustration No. 3. The authority for the change was an imperial decree 
dated June 26, 1804. 

Before long the competition was ended and the new designs for both 
silver and gold chosen. The workmanship on the new dies was far superior 
to the old, the planchets more uniform and the head of Napoleon portrayed 
in a more classic manner. Illustration No. 4 shows the real advance in 
coinage resulting from this competition. With the exception of tire addition 

No. 3. 

The title "NAPOLEON EMPERBUil" replaces that of 
"BONAPARTE PREMIER CONSUL" on the obverse. The 
republican type of reverse continues. 

No. 4. 

Type of 5 francs adopted after the competition of the 
ye-ir XI. Note the more dignified head of Napoleon. The 
crossing" of the tips of the olive wreath on reverse is a 
variety that did not endure. 

of a wreath on the Emperor's head in 1807 as shown in illustration No. 5, 
this type continued until January 1, 1809, and so for these years the coin- 
age, gold and silver alike, carried this curious mixture of titles. 

By the autumn of IS OS Napoleon had so consolidated his power and 
prestige at home and abroad that he felt safe in eliminating- even the name 
"Republic." A decree dated October 22, IS OS ordered that commencing 
January 1, 1809, the legend "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE" on the coinage 
should be replaced by "EMPIRE FRANCAIS." This type, shown in illus- 
tration No. 6, is the final step in the gradual transition of the coinage from 
Republic to Empire and endured until the downfall of Napoleon and his 
imperial system. 


The curious part of all this is that while historians know the political 
changes that occurred in France during these years, and while most Euro- 
pean numismatists know the coins in question from either personal expe- 
rience or illustrations in European catalogues, the general public certainly 
does not. And as part of the general public in this case we must include 
our friends the newspaper men, always, and naturally, avid for a sensational 
tid-bit. The inevitable result follows ever so often some grossly exag- 
gerated tale appears about the fortunate possessor of a priceless oddity. 

Now, although large silver coins produce better and more legible illus- 
trations and so are used for this story, far more romance can be built 
around the discovery of a rare gold piece. True to this principle, the gold 
twenty and forty francs pieces with the odd legends of Nos. 3, 4 and 5 have 
given rise to some of the most fantastic numismatic stories the public has 
ever been asked to swallow. 

Although as far back as 1905 an explanation of these contrasting in- 
scriptions had been published by Mr. E. Zay, an eminent French numis- 

No. 5. 

A laurel wreath ha^ been added to the head of Napo- 
leon as was often done in the case of victorious mon- 
arch s. 

The final type of Napoleonic coinage. At last the leg- 
end "REPUBLJQUE FRANCAISE" on the reverse has 
given way to "EMPIRE FRANCAIS." 

matist and author of the standard work on French Colonial Coins, few 
people were aware that the coinage had been large and, barring certain mint 
marks and dates, the pieces were not very rare. 

In 1908 the Revue Numismatique, the publication of the French Numis- 
matic Society, reported a prodigious story in its own words "the wildest 
ever told of the alleged value of an old coin." This was to the effect that 
in some English and even some French papers a story had appeared along 
the following lines: 

"The French Legation at Belgrade has bought from a Serbian lawyer, 
Mr. Jovan Petrovitch, one of the first ten pieces of twenty francs with the 
head of Napoleon I, struck in 1806 in Paris to commemorate the foundation 
of the Empire. This excessively rare piece is lacking in our national col- 
lections and a while ago the Cabinet of Medals at Paris stated it would 


willingly pay 150,000 francs for a specimen. This is the sum paid to MT. 
Petrovitch after the coin was proved to be genuine. The lawyer inherited 
the coin from his grandfather, who got it in 1806 from the French Marshal 
Marmont after the capture of Ragusa. An editor of the Parisian newspa- 
per, 'La Liberte/ came to the Cabinet of Medals to check up the facts. He 
got them quickly enough and published them, but in the two weeks that 
intervened the Curator of the Cabinet received a dozen letters a day from 
people wanting to cash in on 1806 Napoleons or similar coins." 

Again in 1936 this story was revived. This time a Belgian newspaper in 
the city of Charleroi, just across the French border, published a variation 
of the tale. An illustrated paper of the same city took up the good work, 
printing the photograph of the happy owner of the priceless coin. He was 
a workman out of work! For the next fortnight every mail brought several 
letters to the Curator in Paris from folk who possessed either twenty or 
forty francs gold pieces of this type and who naturally hoped to realize the 
colossal premium. 

About that time Messrs. Spiiik and Son, Ltd., the well-known London 
dealers, stated in their "Numismatic Circular" (June, 1936) that they had 
received so many enquiries with regard to French coins of Napoleon I with 
felt impelled to print the facts in their Circular which they forthwith did. 

Yet the story has too much romantic appeal and will not down. Less 
than a year ago it popped up again, this time in Hungary! The September, 
1938, issue of the journal of the Numismatic Society in Vienna carried the 
following variation of the old hoax: 

"Newspaper stories usually begin romantically. Thus a French twenty- 
francs gold piece is discovered perhaps hidden away in a secret drawer of an 
antique cabinet, perhaps another time it is the only piece of its kind in a 
pot full of common gold coins. The local testimony is usually most explicit 
as to details. The last time this occurred was in West Hungary and the 
'expert 1 to whom the enviable finder applied made it known that the piece 
was a mis-strike having on one side the head of Napoleon with the legend 
'NAPOLEON L'EMPEREUR/(2) but on the reverse 'REPUBLIQUE FRAN- 
CAISE' and went on to say that 'having consulted a book' he found that but 
twelve such pieces had been struck. Hence the piece was supremely rare. 
And so, as the newspaper's informant said, it was sold in Italy for 2,000,000 

Like all other well-posted authorities, the Viennese journal tore this 
wild story to pieces, adding very properly that it was rank mischief to de- 
coy uninformed owners of coins with such golden dreams. 

But the story will not die. Like certain other myths, it is too romantic, 
too wonderful, and we may be perfectly confident that as time passes and 
its exposures are forgotten it will be revived again to thrill uninformed 
readers. If, however, the present generation of American numismatists is 
put on its guard against swallowing this wild story, the writer will feel 
amply repaid for his work. 

(2) The inscriptions were always "NAPOLEON EMPEREUR," never "L'EM- 

Rolled Metal for Coins 

One would naturally suppose that someone in the iron industry had 
invented rolled metal, but not so. It was left to a Frenchman named Bru- 
lier, who, in the sixteenth century, invented them [i.e., rolls of metal] for 
producing strips of gold, silver and copper that would be uniform thick- 
ness for coinage purposes ... If one will notice his coins struck in the 
1400s, 1500s and 1600s and note the irregular thickness of the metal he 
will agree that M. Brulier's idea was a good one. Excerpt from "First 
Rolled Metal Was for Coinage" by H. C., The Numismatist, April 1923. 



Feori F. Pipito 

This is the story of Napoleon Bonaparte, and those of his family, 
his marshals and his political friends who were memorialized on 
crown-size silver coins. 

Each of us, to a varying degree, find some enjoyment in history. 
Numismatics is an extension of that interest which allows a more 
personal contact with the heroes of the past. The story of Napoleon 
Bonaparte has been told and retold many times. Our histories are more 
obscure in the treatment of his relatives and friends, who are out of the 
main stream of time. A review of the following coins and their associated 
historical significance affords an unusual slant to the story, bringing into 
focus the lesser known members of his group who occupied prominent 
roles in the turmoil of Western Europe of the early nineteenth century. 
This period, in effect little more than one decade set the pattern for 
successive generations down to the present time. Particularly the present 
situation in Western Europe, where an attempt is being made to unite 
nations militarily and economically, was blueprinted by Napoleon one 
hundred and fifty years ago. A glance at the map of Napoleon's day is 
almost duplicated in the Schuman Plan of Western union of today. 

Napoleon Bonaparte, soldier, statesman and emperor, belongs in 
the company of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, His military 
exploits and endeavors were patterned after those of these ancient 
heroes. Born in 1769 of humble Corsican origin, Napoleon is a son of 
the Revolution. The general upheaval of the times allowed him to rise 
to the highest pinnacle of his day. His military achievements have been 
accorded proper acknowledgement. He made seemingly impossible 
marches, strategic flanking maneuvers and brilliant assaults to achieve 
in a f ew months what had been the lifetime dream of the French Kings 
to extend the border of France to the Rhine and make the French^ 
supreme in Italy. In this regard Marengo, Ulm and Austerlitz are well 

Napoleon as First Consul, 5 Francs, 1792 

On the other hand his achievements in social, educational and civil 
reforms are not as widely accredited. Napoleon tried to crystallize the 
aims of the revolutions and separate them from the abuses, strife and 


discontent of the Terror. He organized commissions to improve the 
courts, education, highways and taxation. Many of these were complete 
enough to persist unchanged materially to the present day. He changed 
the map of Europe, in particular Germany where he was responsible for 
the consolidation and reduction in the number of petty independent 
states from three hundred to one hundred. A point of numismatic 
importance to the crown collector of today who has difficulty in locating 
Friedeberg, Furstenberg and Regensburg. To prevent the capture of 
Louisiana by the British he sold it to the United States. 

Napoleon as Emperor, 5 Francs, 1811 

The road to ruin started in Spain and was complete in Russia. 
He was deposed and exiled to the island of Elba. In a magnificent gesture 
he escaped and returned to France where he was received with open arms 
to start the period of his second rule known as "The Hundred Days." 
After three months Napoleon was again defeated by the Coalition at 
Waterloo. This time Napoleon was banished to distant St. Helena where 
he was destined to spend the remainder of his life under a cruel and 
degrading supervision that will forever be a dark page in English history. 

Kingdom of Italy, 5 Lire, 1814 

Napoleon said on St. Helena, I wanted to found a European system, 
a European Code of Laws, a European Court of Appeals; there would 
have been but one people throughout Europe. 

Napoleon's first love was Desiree Clary, the daughter of a Marseilles 
silk merchant. The romance was one-sided because of Napoleon's com- 
parative insignificance at that time. Later Desiree married Bernadotte, 
of whom we will hear later. Napoleon on his rise to glory married a 
widow, Josephine Beauharnias. After several years of childless marriage, 
Napoleon, with a consuming desire to establish a hereditary line, divorced 


Josephine and married Marie Louise, an Austrian Archduchess and 
daughter of Francis, Holy Roman Emperor. Napoleon was gratified in 
short order to be presented with a son and heir. Following Napoleon's 
downfall, Mane Louise deserted her husband, taking with her their son. 
?f f ? een i ent with the Coalition that she would not see or correspond 
with Napoleon ever again, Marie Louise was presented with the duchy of 
Parma Their son Napoleon H in apparent robust young manhood died 
suddenly without known cause while in the custody of the Austrian Court. 

Parma. Maria Louisa, 5 Lire, 1815 


This was the oldest brother of Napoleon. He married one of the 
Clary sisters, Julie, and was thus the brother-in-law of Bernadotte. 
He was attached to Napoleon's star and rose with him to occupy succes- 
sively more important posts. His first rule was that of Naples and Sicily. 

Naples and Sicily. Joseph Napoleon, Piastra, 1808 

Later he was transferred to the rule of Spain after the forced 
abdication of Charles IV. His rule in Spain was one of continued unrest, 
turmoil and guerrilla warfare. He united Spain in opposition in a way 
that Charles IV found it impossible to do. With Napoleon's defeat, 
Joseph fled to Philadelphia, taking with him millions plundered from 
the Spanish treasury. He was at one time offered the Crown of Mexico 
by a group of revolutionaries, but preferred the peace and security of 
his Philadelphia estate. He lived out his years amid his millions as 
Count Survilliers. 


Spain. Joseph. Napoleon, 20 Reales, 1812 


A younger brother of Napoleon, Louis, sensitive and unassuming, 
was given the kingdom of Holland. As king, he placed the welfare of 
his subjects above that of France. The Berlin Decree, forbidding com- 
merce with the Coalition, Napoleon's answer to the English Blockade, 
was responsible for great hardships on the Dutch. Louis persistently 
refused to follow this Decree. Napoleon therefore deposed Louis and 
acquired the crown for himself. 

Kingdom of Holland. Louis Napoleon, 50 Stuivers, 1808 

Louis had two sons. The older, selected to be Napoleon's heir, prior 
to the birth of his son, died in young manhood in a revolutionary 
movement. The younger, named Louis Napoleon, later occupied his own 
niche in history as Napoleon HE, Emperor of France from 1850-1870. 


Napoleon's youngest brother, spoiled and weak, spent three years 
in Baltimore. He had commanded a corvette and landed there to escape 
the English. At Baltimore, he wooed and wed Eliza Patterson, the 
daughter of a prosperous merchant. A son was born to the young couple. 
Jerome, anxious to partake of the glorious happenings in Europe, re- 
turned to the court of France. At this time Napoleon was interested in 
consolidating his gains by marriages into the royal families of Europe. 
Consequently he decreed a divorce for Jerome and promptly married him 
to a princess of Wurttemburg. As compensation for his acquiescence, 
Jerome received a kingdom, Westphalia, which his brother carved out 
of Prussia as a wedding gift. 


Westphalia. Jerome Napoleon, Thaler, 1813 

Jerome proved to be dissolute, weak and immoral. He is best re- 
membered for his attempts to ruin the young womanhood of his country 
and to bankrupt its treasury. Napoleon's downfall caused him to flee to 
Italy. Many years later as the sole living representative of the Napoleonic 
era he once again appeared at the Imperial French Court, that of his 
nephew, Napoleon IU. 


This sister of Napoleon was married to a young nobleman, Felix 
Bacciocchi. During Napoleon's hour of triumph she was presented with 
the duchy of Lucca which she ruled with her husband. Nothing good 
can be said of her conduct either publicly as ruler or privately as a 
woman. Her one redeeming feature was the sacrifice of her jewels to 
finance Napoleon's escape from Elba. 

Lucca, Elisa Bonaparte and Felix Bacciocchi, 5 Franchi, 1803 


This gallant, strikingly handsome figure of the era rose from humble 
origin, through the ranks of the French Army from Private to Marshal 
of France under Napoleon. He was an adventurer, a gallant who 
achieved success by sheer force of his personality, intelligence and 
military prowess. He was high in Napoleon's esteem when he was offered 
the hand of Napoleon's sister, Caroline, in marriage. His first rule was 
the duchy of Berg. 


Berg. Joachim Murat, Thaler, 1807 

When Joseph was transferred from Sicily to Spain, the rule of the 
two Sicilies fell to Murat who had by that time adopted the imperial 
name of Napoleon. 

Naples and Sicily. Joachim Murat, 12 Carlini, 1810 

Murat was the instrument of Napoleon in an incident which aroused 
all of Europe and served his enemies as an excellent tool to weld them 
together. The Due d'Enghien, a member of the French Bourbons, was 
believed to be the center of resistance to Napoleon on the continent. 
He was living at the time in a neutral German state. Murat, with a 
detachment of his troops, kidnaped the Duke, returned him to French 
soil, dug his grave, then after court martial, he was shot. Napoleon 
admitted responsibility for the capture but denied to his dying day that 
he had anything to do with the murder. 

In Napoleon's hour of trial Murat was deposed. In an attempt to 
regain his throne he was captured and died before a firing squad. To the 
last a hero, Murat merits softer remembrances than any of the other 
children of the revolution. 


The only permanent monarch created by the French revolution, 
Bernadotte, of humble parentage, entered the army as a private. After 
nine long years he was no more than a sergeant. The revolution opened 
the way for a precipitous advancement to Marshal of France. There 
existed a mutual distrust between Napoleon and Bernadotte from the 
start. His continued advancement and eventual elevation to Crown 
Prince of Sweden through Napoleon's intervention can only be answered 
by the persisting affection Napoleon had for Desiree Clary. 


Sweden. Charles XIV John (Bernadotte), Riksdaler, 1821 

Bernadotte eventually succeeded to the Swedish throne as Charles 
XIV John, to become a respected monarch and the progenitor of a long 
line of Swedish kings. Bernadotte aided the coalition in their final 
assault upon Napoleon and played an important role in his banishment. 
Desiree remained in Paris, refusing to go to Sweden with her husband. 
She outlived both Napoleon and Bernadotte. At her death, there were 
found among her effects yellowed pages of letters from Napoleon. 

Other rulers represented upon coins and falHng within the scope of 
our discussion are: Alexander BertMer, Marshal of France and Prince of 

Neuchatel. Alexander Berthier, 5 Francs 181- (Pattern) 

A professional soldier in the service of Louis XVT, he remained 
faithful to his King to the last, and then followed the tide of the 

Archbishop of Mainz and Prince of the Rhine Confederation 

The Confederation was an amalgamation of thirty-eight German 
states under this former elector of the Holy Roman Empire. His fortunes 
declined with the f all of Napoleon and eventually he was left with only 
the Archbishopric of Regensburg. 

Not mentioned in this treatise because of his numismatic anonymity 
is Lucien Bonaparte, a younger brother of Napoleon. As president of 


the French assembly he was instrumental in bringing about the coup 
which made Napoleon Emperor. He was offered the kingdom of Spain, 
but refused it because of Napoleon's insistence upon a divorce from his 
commoner wife to whom he was devoted. As a result he retired from 
the political scene but returned in Napoleon's hour of need to render 
his every assistance. 

Rhine Confederation. Carl, Baron von Dahlberg, Thaler, 1808 

Napoleon died a desolate, lonely and painful death from carcinoma 
of the stomach at St. Helena. In the years of his exile he was forced 
to live in a former pig pen which after his death was returned to its 
former use. He was denied the simplest comforts and no pleasures. 
One writer states Napoleon was offered an escape to America. His refusal 
undoubtedly delayed and modified the course of events, some of 'which, 
are unfolding at the present time in Europe. 

Reminiscing one day on his brothers ana the role they played, he 
said, "I was not as lucky as Genghis Khan, whose four sons vied with 
one another in their father's service. If I made anyone King, he instantly 
regarded himself as king by divine right . . . (He) was no longer my 
representative but became a fresh enemy. . . . Poor devils! Once I had 
been defeated, the enemy did not even bother to declare their formal 

Origin French Varicolored Notes 

Until 1863 French bank notes, like our English, ones, were all printed 
in black , and the reason for adopting the variously colored notes of today 
was curious. 

One day the Empress Eugenie., when she was being shown over the 
Bank of France, was given as a souvenir one of a batch of forged thousand 
franc notes which had been seized by the police. On her return to the 
Tuileries she decided to play a practical joke on the Emperor by slipping 
the forged note into the drawer of his writing desk where he always kept 


his money. Later in the day an old comrade of the days of exile called 
at the Tuileries and told so pitiful a tale that Napoleon gave him the 
thousand franc note. When the recipient tried to change it he was at 
once arrested and the whole story came out. 

The incident gave Napoleon such a dislike for the old style of notes 
that he ordered colored ones to be adopted a curious origin for the beau- 
tiful hundred franc note of today. Excerpt from "Varicolored Bank Notes 
Are Result of Napoleon's Pity" from Manchester Guardian, The Numis- 
matist, November, 1927. 


Shepard Pond 


Bonneville: Tralte des Monnaies d'Or et d'Argrent. Paris, 1806. 

Dewamin: Cent Ans de Numismatique Francaise 1789-1889; Volume I. Papler- 
monaies, Paris, 1893. 

F. Florang-e: Curiosites Financieres. Paris, 1928. 

H. Harris: The Assig-nats. Cambridge, 1930. 

Hubrecht: Faux Assig-nats dans le Bas Rhin. Colmar, 1931. 

Mont jean: Les Billets de Confiance en Seine-et-Oise pendant la Revolution. 
Versailles, 1932. 

M.-C. Morini-Coxnby: Les Assig-nats. Paris, 1925. 

The recent legalized heavy depreciation of our United States currency 
and the post-war changes in many European currencies are the latest re- 
minders of the uncertainties of any paper circulating medium even 'when, 
as in the case of our country, it may be based on a supposedly sound metal 
reserve. The famous Assig-nats of the French Revolution, better known to 
European than American numismatists, tell a story of depreciated currency, 
inflated prices, speculation, hardship and changed fortunes equalled perhaps 
only by the great German paper money crash after the World War. 

With the exception of our own Government in the past year it is hard, if 
not impossible, to find a case where a nation, notwithstanding great metal 
reserves and a high national credit, deliberately depreciated its money in 
the world's exchanges. Certainly in the issuance of paper in the first stages 
of the French Revolution there was no such reserve or credit behind the 
country's monetary system. What then happened and why? 

Conditions under the French monarchy as it approached its unexpected 
fall towards the end of the eighteenth century were bad economically as 
well as socially. We cannot here take up the social evils and injustices; 
suffice it to say they were grave. Politically, the monarch was supreme, 
unhampered by any parliament, ruling by Divine Right and responsible, in 
effect, to himself only. Taxation was onerous and badly administered, privi- 
lege was rife and an enormous amount of the national wealth, some say as 
much as one quarter, had through centuries become immobilized in the 
hands of the clergy. 

In those days France was an agrarian country and crops had been very 

(1) Assig-nat a sort of pledge or oblig-ation with, security. Morini-Comby, 
p. 16 Government bills created in Russia by Catherine II in 1768 bore the name. 
of assignats. 


bad for several years. The winter of 1788 to 1789 had been uncommonly 
severe and the collection of taxes was progressively more difficult. When 
we add to all these troubles the imminent bankruptcy of the national 
treasury due to successive unbalanced budgets (familiar words!) and the 
total loss of credit for the monarchy we see the stage was set for trouble. 

Under great national pressure the King, Louis XVI, convened the States- 
General in 1789 (the first approach to a representative body for genera- 
tions), and this assembly and later assemblies under different names such 
as National, Legislative and Constitutional Assemblies, went to work with 
high patriotic enthusiasm but handicapped by a total lack of practical ex- 
perience. One of its first, and typically impractical, acts was to declare void 
all previous taxes as not having been sanctioned by the nation. (2) Speech- 
making became the order of the day, yet the national treasury was empty, 
the monarchy's borrowing power gone and there existed what we today 
would call a huge floating, or short term, debt. 

Under such conditions it is not surprising that specie was going into 
hiding and that, just as happened in the United States recently, hoarding 
came into fairly general practice. But here hoarding meant putting away 
real co'n and, lacking the "elasticity" of our present Federal Reserve note 
issue, currency actually became scarce, for currency meant metal. 

Assigiiat for 5O Hdvres. 

Issue of September 29, 1790. (4x7% inches.) 

The hopelessly bad Government credit is illustrated by the failure in 
August, 1789 of a national loan at 4 per cent, for 30,000,000 livres (the 
livre was almost exactly the equivalent of the pre-war franc), only 2,500,000 
livres being subscribed. Another loan a little later in 1789 was to raise 
80,000,000 livres, one half of which was intended to fund part of the float- 
ing debt. Although the subscription books were kept open the incredible 
time of two years, less than 52,000,000 livres came in, and less than half of 
that in cash. (3) Plainly the Government was up against it -no borrowing 
power and tax collections hopelessly in arrears. But money must be had. 

On the 19th of September, 1789, a proposal was made to the National 
Assembly to issue 400,000,000 livres paper money, interest bearing and in 
large denomination, 300, 600 and 1200 livres, (4) to be used to pay the 
Government's urgent debts and to be acceptable for returns of the "Patriotic 
Levy." Patriotism was truly running high in the early days of the French 
Revolution many men and women turned in money and jewels and the 
records show numerous entries that "so and so" had made a donation. 
S.uch, however, was but a drop in the bucket, and so on October 9 1789 the 
Assembly decreed a "Patriotic Levy"( 5 ) of a quarter year's income per 

(2) Florang-e p. 193. 

(3) F. p. 194. 

(4) M.-C. p. 13. 

(5) F. p. 204. 


person. The declaration of income being left to the conscience of each "con- 
tributor/' in sharp contrast to our own Federal tax returns, the levy was 
distinctly unproductive. A specimen of the blank form used in the levy is 
shown on page 229 of Florange's interesting book, "Curiositees financieres." 

By now the Assembly had so progressed in attempting to right old wrongs 
that it added to the existing National Domain, by what amounted to confis- 
cation, the vast property of the Church throughout France. (6) The political 
struggle for this enormous stake was acrimonious, and the outcome not un- 
naturally turned the Roman hierarchy in France bitterly against the Revo- 
lution. The delicate phrasing of Maribeau that the Church's property 
should be "at the disposition of" rather than "belonged to the State" sugar- 
coated the pill, and so on November 2nd, 1789, practically all the lands, 
schools, palaces, etc., of the Church passed into the hands of the State. It 
was estimated that this produced an annual income of 48,000,000 livres, 
and suggestions were made of a large loan secured on these revenues, but 
no definite action was taken. 

We have now arrived at the point where the nation, effectively bankrupt, 
needing money badly, became possessed of an enormously valuable mass of 
fixed property, principally real estate. This the State meant to sell off and, 

Assignat for 1O Sons. 

Issue of January 4, 1792. The denomination of 10 Sous is the smallest In the 
whole series of Assig-nats. (3x2% inches.) 

indeed, promptly started to liquidate, but, as many of us nowadays appre- 
ciate, fixed assets liquidate slowly and are not very useful to pay current 
debts with. Here, then, are all the elements for an issue of paper, negotia- 
ble and easily divisible, secured by the oldest and most favored of securities 
real estate. Is it not natural that such resulted? 

The first suggestions of issue appeared in November, 1789 Those who 
opposed using the national lands as security and who said the unsecured 
credit of the nation should not be doubted were speedily silenced. 

Baron de Cernon proposed as issue of "Assignats," non-interest bearing 
and in denominations of 25, 50 and 100 livres. Tallyrand, whose reputation 
for wisdom has grown with years, opposed the issuance, saying it would 
cause disappearance of specie, the ruin of creditors and high prices. Atter 
considerable debate and study the Assembly created what we in our day 
would call a new agency of the Government, the Caisse de 1 Extraordinaire 
with power to emit 400,000,000 livres in assignats. (7) Having no assets 

(6) Decree of November 2, 1789. 

(7) F. p. 221. 


the Caisse was given as security the crown domains, the church properties 
and the unproductive "Patriotic Contribution." It was to issue the assig- 
nats which the Government was to use to pay its debts, and then, in turn, 
the Assignats were to be available for the public to pay for purchases of 
the national domains. When received thus by the Government, Assignats 
were to be burned. And to complete the picture the Assembly ordered na- 
tional property put on sale to the same amount as the issuance of assignats 
400,000,000 livres. (8) 

Issued in the denomination of 1,000 livres and carrying interest at the 
rate of 5 per cent., this first emission of assignats had much the character 
of real estate bonds redeemable in the real estate by which they were 
secured. And as far as the first issue went it was unquestionably well 
secured. The authorization of this paper was decreed in December, 1789, 
and the emission voted in April, 1790. Temporary certificates, or "Promes- 
ses d'Assignats" were first put out, the actual notes not appearing until 
well into 1790. 

An interesting copy of a tender or bid by a private printing house in 
Paris to manufacture assignats is shown on page 103, Volume I, of De- 
wamin's great work, "100 Years of French Numismatics." 

Assignat for 5 *ivres. 

Issue of 10th Brumaire, Year 2 (October 31, 1793). Note the chang-e to 
"French Republic." (4x2% inches.) 

The sale of land to an equal amount was decreed in March, 1790, and was 
calculated to inspire confidence as to the redemption of the paper. 

There were many estimates, varying, of course, as to the value of the 
Government's land, and they ran between the sums of 2,000,000,000 and 
3,000,000,000 livres, huge in any case but slow of sale in volume at fair 
prices. Eventually, due in small part to the confiscation of property of the 
emigrees but largely to repeated "revaluations," the national domain was 
written up from the first figure of 2 billions to 15 billions in 1793 this as 
the assignats depreciated. (9) Still the Assembly knew the land value at 
first greatly exceeded the note issue and had such confidence in its own 
talents that, in the words of a deputy, ". . . . we are assured that the paper 
money which it will create will be held within proper limits. We need not 
fear the bad results of too great issues and a discrediting of the paper. "(io) 

Yet money, especially in small denominations, was scarce; indeed, it had 
never been as plentiful per capita in France as in industrial England. Dur- 

(8) Decree of March 17, 1790. 

(9) Da Grande encyclopedic article on assignats. 

(10) M.-C. p. 20. 


t, I *^ * ardl . ns 1 mc ^ eased a *d the situation was aggravated by the de- 
parture for foreign lands of many of the nobility, who, fearful of the politf- 
e ' ft Country, carrying off, naturally enough, all the coin they 

The lack of small assignats brought about a number of issues by private 
bankers and tradesmen of scrip ( 12 ) not unlike the scrip we used during our 
Civil War and that with which we were threatened during the "Bank Holi- 
day a year ago. This small paper money was generally exchangeable by 
the issuer for assignats when presented in proper denominations There 
also appeared a series of small private coins likewise exchangeable for 
assignats These coins were mostly in silver, thus having some intrinsic 
value, (is) They form an interesting chapter in the numismatics of the 
French Revolution and, it may be said incidentally, have been more or less 
counterfeited since. 

To return to the assignats they held fairly steady for months after their 
emission, but at a discount of several per cent. Being in large and not 
very practical denominations, they were not wholly satisfactory The Na- 

Assignat for 2,OOO Francs. 

Issue of 18th Nivose, Year X (January 7, 1795). (5^4x8% inches.) 

tional Assembly, dominated by a desire to do something new (for, was not 
the whole movement a radical "new deal"?), decreed(i4) that the assignats 
should have a forced circulation as money, that the rate of interest should 
be reduced from 5 per cent, to 3 per cent., and that, in addition to the orig- 
inally planned 1,000 livres units, there should be denominations of 300 
and 200 livres all this tending to turn the assignats into a faster circu- 
lating medium. 

Meanwhile, to accelerate the sale of the alienated lands, regulations were 
published soon after, in May, 1790, an important feature of which was per- 
mission to defer payments on land purchased. A dangerous policy paper 
money which even then some economists said must bring inflation, plus the 

(11) Decree of July 27, 1791. 

(12) Montjean p. 7. a list of these by Captain Colson in the Revue Numis- 
matique for 1852 shows these 'were issued in 83 departments in France (practi- 
cally the entire nation) and that in the Department of the Orne alone there were 
94 caisses. They often bore patriotic inscriptions "Liberty or Death," "War on 
Tyrants," etc. 

(13) Their manufacture was soon forbidden by decree of September 3, 1792. 

(14) M.-C. p. 24. 


ing 1790 hoarding increased and the situation was aggravated by the de- 
parture for foreign lands of many of the nobility, who, fearful of the politi- 
cal trend, left the country, carrying off, naturally enough, all the coin they 
could lay their hands on. In turn, the Government soon confiscated such 
property as they left behind in France, (ii) 

The lack of small assignats brought about a number of issues by private 
bankers and tradesmen of scrip ( 12) not unlike the scrip we used during our 
Civil War and that with which we were threatened during the "Bank Holi- 
day" a year ago. This small paper money was generally exchangeable by 
the issuer for assignats when presented in proper denominations. There 
also appeared a series of small private coins likewise exchangeable for 
assignats. These coins were mostly in silver, thus having some intrinsic 
value, (is) They form an interesting chapter in the numismatics of the 
French Revolution and, it may be said incidentally, have been more or less 
counterfeited since. 

To return to the assignats they held fairly steady for months after their 
emission, but at a discount of several per cent. Being in large and not 
very practical denominations, they were not wholly satisfactory. The Na- 

Assignat for 2,OOO Francs. 

Issue of 18th Nivose, Year 3 (January 7, 1795). (5}4x8*& inches.) 

tional Assembly, dominated by a desire to do something new (for, was not 
the whole movement a radical "new deal"?), decreed (14) that the assignats 
should have a forced circulation as money, that the rate of interest should 
be reduced from 5 per cent, to 3 per cent., and that, in addition to the orig- 
inally planned 1,000 livres units, there should be denominations of 300 
and 200 livres all this tending to turn the assignats into a faster circu- 
lating medium. 

Meanwhile, to accelerate the sale of the alienated lands, regulations were 
published soon after, in May, 1790, an important feature of which was per- 
mission to defer payments on land purchased. A dangerous policy paper 
money which even then some economists said must bring inflation, plus the 

02) Mon r t1tan f p. ly 7. 
cally th 
94 caisses. They often bore p 

y (i1o The ir Manufacture was soon forbidden by decree of September 3, 1792. 
(14) M.-C. p. 24. 

f these by Captain Colson in the Revue Numis- 


02) Montan p.. s o ese y 

atique for 1852 shows these were issued in 83 departments in France (prac 
lly the entire nation) and that in the Department of the Orne alone there w 
4 caisses. They often bore patriotic inscriptions "Liberty or Death, War 


chance for speculators to contract to buy Government land on long-term 
payments with the possibility of later heavy depreciation in the paper which 
would be used for payment. 

The real step on the downward path came before long. The treasury 
was again empty, lands not selling as rapidly as expected, and in Septem- 
ber 1790, the Assembly decreed another issue of assignats, this tame 
800,000,000 livres more.C 15 ) Henceforth the paper was to be payable to 
bearer non-interest bearing and in smaller denominations to fill the void 
left in circulation as metals were increasingly hoarded. But the worst of 
all was that the purpose of issue was for current expenses. Even assuming 
that the national domain could be liquidated rapidly enough to retire the 
assignats reasonably promptly and thus maintain their value, we see the 
fatal error of using capital assets to pay current expenses. As a matter of 
fact, the assignats were coming back but slowly in payment for national 
property; the latter was selling well, but on the basis of deferred payments. 

Meanwhile taxes came in slowly, new taxes were not effective, small 
change was scarcer, yet the Assembly had not taken sufficient steps towards 
splitting up the large denominations of its paper issues. Finally, the situa- 

Assignat for 1O,OOO Francs. 

Issue of ISth Nivose, Year 3 (January 7, 1795). This is the largest denomination 
in the whole series of Assignats. (5x7 *4 inches.) 

tion became so bad that an issue of base silver to the amount of 15,000,000 
livres was decreed early in 1791.(ic) It went out of sight almost over 
night. Then a new "Caisse Patriotique" was established in June, 1791, to 
issue its own small notes of 5, 10, 20 and 25 livres against large assignats. 
Much was made of the fact that it accommodated the public thus without 
charge. A year or so later, when the Government forced it to close, people 
learned that this beneficent institution had so overworked its presses that 
it had emitted its own small notes to an amount three and a half times 
greater than the assignats it held! (i?) 

So by the year 1791 we see the assignats diverted from their original 
purpose (of being used to acquire land, then to be cancelled) to currency, 
thus preventing their possible total retirement. Paper currency had come 
to stay. As Harris in his excellent book, "The Assignats/' says, the assig- 
nats being primarily a financial tool, their various emissions were governed 

(15) Decree of September 29, 1790. 

(16) Bonneville p. 17. Base in the sense of being- .666 fine, although the quan- 
tity of silver therein was in correct proportion to previous standards for French 

(17) Harris p. 24. 


largely by the exigencies of national finance. We cannot go into all the 
results of this policy nor can we trace the numerous succeeding issues 
through the several following years, but the first two of these years, 1790 
and 1791, show some things in common with our own national situation 

Foreign exchange rose, or, put in another way, the assignats depreciated 
in foreign markets just as our paper dollars have. In December, 1791, they 
stood at 88; in March, 1792, at 75. Gold and silver vanished almost entire- 
ly, went to a premium, in other words, and we find decrees (like in our own 
times) forbidding such a premium and ordering that the depreciating paper 
must not be refused. Dealings in gold at a premium were strictly forbid- 
den how like our situation in 1933! And, strangely enough, we find a 
parallel as regards commodities. Theoretically, prices should have risen, 
but France, then at peace internally and suffering from hard times, found 
commodity prices but little higher after two years of assignats, ( is ) just as 
we now similarly are going through hard times with little or no competitive 
bidding for raw materials, have been disappointed that prices have not 
risen more. Briefly, their currency, like ours, was as useful as ever at home 
though depreciating abroad. 

All this was changed and rather suddenly in the spring of 1792 by the 
threat and later the occurrence of foreign war. Deliveries to markets fell, 
people were anxious to "stock up," the Government had growing armies to 
equip and feed. There was a very great rise in the prices of commodi- 
ties. (19) There was a great need of money by the Government; and then 
the printing presses really went to work. 

A desperate national emergency justifies almost any meatures or so we 
ourselves have recently been told and as the political and military situa- 
tions in France grew worse through 1792 and 1793 we see appear the 
famous law of the "maximum'* on grains which was often broken for ex- 
ample, it was reported that farmers sold their grains at "half price" if paid 
in gold or silver. (20) We see, as again today, a recommendation to demone- 
tize gold and silver "on account of their instability." We see a suddenly 
developed and unprecedented speculation in shares leading to a tax on all 
transfers of securities. We see rises and falls in foreign exchange as the 
French armies won or lost. And finally we see the flat declaration by the 
great Cambon that as extraordinary taxes to support the war would entail 
too severe a sacrifice, and since loans could not be floated, the assignats had 
to be the Government's main resource. This was early in 1793 when a 
forced loan on "the rich" had brought in very little, (21) when the volume 
of paper had risen to nearly 5,000,000,000 livres (some twelve times the 
first emission) and when the gold value of the assignat had fallen to about 
58. By the end of 1792 the Caisse de 1'Extraordinaire was suppressed (22) 
and the Government itself took over the issuance of assignats. 

Then followed rapidly the prohibition of payment of private debts with 
gold or silver; the prohibited sale of or trading in cash; the decreeing of 
the death penalty for refusing to accept assignats or for quoting prices in 
gold or silver; the demonetization of gold and silver; and an order to con- 
fiscate such when found. (23) Indeed, in 1794 twelve men were guillotined 
for hoarding specie. (24) 

Yet even under these conditions there were curious anomalies. At times 
the Government needed specie for foreign use, and by April, 1793, it had had 
to pay out some 159,000,000 livres paper to acquire 94,000,000 cash. (25) 
Government contractors were complaining that they could not fulfill their 
contracts over a period of time because of the depreciating paper and the 
Government violated its own ordinances to relieve them. 

The Government took control of foreign exchange and foreign trade to a 
minute degree and decreed the death penalty for investing money 

(18) H. p. 102. 

(19) H. p. 103. 

(20) H. p. 172. 

(21) Decree of May 20, 1793. 

(22) F. p. 221. 

(23) H. p. 177. 

(24) H. p. 183. 

(25) M.-C. P- 65. 


abroad (2G) There were many instances of Government agents going abroad 
to barter In March, 1794, an American ship was allowed to sail from 
Bordeaux* with spirits and wine on the promise of its captain to return in 
seven months with wheat, flour, coffee, sugar, etc, (27) 

By the middle of 1794 the assignats outstanding nad risen to 7,zuu,- 
000 000 livres while their quotation in gold had fallen to about 41 per cent. 
Despite the death penalty, counterfeiting was frequent both witnin tne 
country and by foreign enemies. (28) Indeed, there is before me now a 
contemporary official pamphlet telling how to identify false assignats intro- 
duced along the French coast by the hostile British, just as the British in 
New York counterfeited Continental currency during our Revolution. And 
then some unknown critic of the Government got out a satirical assignat 
for 10 000 livres "secured by the fogs of the river Seine/' (29) 

Issues succeeded each other until in late 1794 the gold value of the paper 
had fallen below the estimated gold value of the land securing it. (30) A 
year later, in November, 1795, it had shrunk to perhaps one-fifth of the 
stable value of the Government domain available for sale. (31) 

The military situation had improved greatly by that time early 1795; 
the Reign of Terror had relaxed and the law of Maximum was repealed, 
resulting in an enormous speculation in commodities. (32) In April, 1795, 
free dealings were reestablished in gold and silver. (33) Then came a 
steady fall in the assignat; the internal premium on specie, still coveted by 
all, rose above what we would now call the import point; gold and silver 
began to trickle in from abroad and general speculation was running riot. 
Probably by now the gold value of the enormous mass of some 11,500,- 
000,000 livres of assignats had fallen not only far below its land security 
but even below the value of the specie hoarded in France! 

In an effort to prop up the falling paper, the output of which was unceas- 
ing, the Assembly demonetized the old "Royal" assignats bearing the head 
of Louis XVI, for was not everyone now a staunch Republican? Thus by a 
stroke of the pen some 1,000,000,000 of the earlier paper was eliminat- 
ed. (34) Still the situation kept going from bad to worse daily and every- 
one knew it. There was a "flight from the assignat" (35) of a violence 
equal in degree to the classic "flight from the mark" after the Great War, 
and by May, 1795, it stood around 10 per cent. The fact that everyone was 
frightened contributed to build up the "bear party" so that the paper soon 
reached a point of deprecation about twelve times as great as might have 
been expected -theoretically from the quantity issued. (36) 

The increasing output naturally demanded an increasing force of work- 
men in the Government printing shops. These, irregularly paid in almost 
worthless paper, finally struck in July, 1795, for they could not live on their 
wages. They were temporarily pacified by a decree on July 6th that "each 
artist" should receive as part of his pay a loaf of bread daily! (37 Yet only 
a little later, in November, the Government had to resort to forced labor in 
the printing shops. (38) By this time the assignat had fallen to the hope- 
less quotation of 8/10 of 1 per cent, and the output was actually unable 
to keep up with the Government's fiscal requirements! Almost daily pro- 
posals were made to the authorities of some way to reduce the volume of 

(26) H. p. 247. 

(27) H. p. 247. 

(28) Hubrecht p. 4, Dec. 2, 1792, the authorities of the Department of the Nord 
complained In a pamphlet describing- false assignats or counterfeits coming- over 
the border from Lrieg-e, Bruxelles, Mannheim and Frankfort. From 1792 on 
Alsace, being- the frontier, was flooded with counterfeits. 

(29) Illustrated Dewamin, Vol. 1, p. 102. Hubrecht p. 4, other satirical assig-- 
nats replaced the "words "National domains" by "properties of the Jacobins." 
Others read, "payable on return of the princes to France." 

<30) H. p. 66. 

(31) H. p. 66. 

(32) H. p. 134. 

(33) H. p. 177. 

(34) H. p. 198. 

(35) Hubrecht p. 6, "most of the inn-keepers In the Department of the Lower 
Hhine shut up shop to avoid being forced to accept assignats." 

(36) H. p. 198. 

(37) Decree of July 6, 1795. 

(38) Already in 1792 by various decrees the Government had exempted such 
labor from recruiting and forbidden it to quit work in type foundries, paper 
mills, and national printing shops engaged in the production of assignats. 


paper outstanding exchange it in part for new G-overnment bonds; scale it 
down to one-fifth of its nominal value; reduce the value of the larger de- 
nominations; or demonetize it progresisvely (it had almost accomplished 
this by its own weight!) 

By November, 1795, the assignats in circulation amounted to about 20 
billion livres and everyone realized the end must be near. In an effort to 
check the cataclysm the Government decreed a forced loan early in Decem- 
ber payable in assignats at 1 per cent, of their face value, but by now no 
one wanted any kind of Government paper. The loan was a failure. The 
last effort came December 23, 1795 a decree that the manufacture of 
assignats should stop; it was high time, for by the 19th of February, 1796, 
when the plates, forms, matrices and stamps used in making assignats had 
been ceremoniously broken in the Place Vendome the Government had 
practically doubled the 20 billion livres outstanding only three months ear- 
lier! It has been estimated that exclusive of counterfeits some 45 billions 
of assignats had been put out; brokers were spreading rumors that there 
were between 60 and 80 billions in circulation. So far gone was the paper 
that the journals of the day did not feature the destruction of the plates as 
a great event. 

Those interested in the study of the assignats, their size, description and 
legends, will find a splendid series of illustrations as well as a complete 
table of denominations and date of issue in volume I of "100 Years of 
French Numismatics.'* 

In an attempt to secure a currency that did not run into astronomical 
figures, the Government now put out a new type of paper called "Mandats 
territoriaux"(39) or, as we might say, orders or drafts on land values, and 
the old assignats were to be convertible into mandats on the basis of 30 to 1, 
an operation which if successful would result in the not unwieldy amount 
of 800,000,000 livres of mandats. But the Government planned to hold up 
its sleeve almost as many more mandats for its own use. To establish the 
mandats at par in exchange for assignats at 30 to 1 was putting a value of 
over 3 on assignats now worth less than 1, so it is no wonder that the 
initial quotation in April, 1796, on the mandats was not 100, but 18. The 
game was up.(4O) By this time enough gold and silver had appeared to 
justify the Treasury in permitting people to elect what kind of money they 
would use in their transactions, and an official ratio of paper to gold ap- 
peared daily. Soon came a law in October, 1796, that one-half of Govern- 
ment salaries would be paid in cash. (41) 

The new system of French coinage, based on the franc, was now coming 
into use, (42) the mints were reopening and, although delays were frequent 
and coinage slow, the use of specie was increasing. And now France had to 
go through all the agony of deflation from the grotesque figures of paper to 
the normal figures of hard money. We cannot go into the long-drawn-out 
adjustments between debtors and creditors that ran through the following 
years or the steps taken by Government and courts to work them out by 
tables of adjustments and depreciation covering the period of the assig- 
nats. (43) Suffice it to say that years passed and many were ruined before 
the end of it all. 

Finally there was a general demonetization of all paper in February, 
1797, and the sad experience was officially over. The continued dearth of 
specie was shown by the frantic appeals of the Government at Paris to its 
young republican general, Napoleon Bonaparts, then victoriously overrun- 
ning northern Italy almost every dispatch begged him for money. And 
he produced it to an amount that surprised even Paris; his requisitions on 
the occupied territories were terrific, but it is undoubtedly to this and this 
alone that we can attribute the speedly replenishment of the French nation's 
traditional currency gold and silver. 

August 14, 1934. 

(39) G-rande ency. art. on assignats. 

(40) Hubrecht p. 23. On March 23, 1796 an assignat of 1000 livres was Insuf- 
ficient to buy a cabbage in the market at Strasburg. 

(41) H. p. 207. 

(42) Decree of August 15, 1795, establishing the franc. 

(43) H. p. 217. 



Shepard Pond 

Probably most Americans who read Dumas' immortal "Three Musketeers" 
and its sequels nave no clear idea of the coins in question when the great 
novelist writes of "pistoles" and "louis d'or." And though the "louis d'or" 
was coined for only about a century and a half, it has left, thanks to a 
fortunate combination of circumstances, a lasting mark in history. 

At the time of the setting of the "Three Musketeers" (the siege of La 
Rochelle in 1627, in the reign of Louis XIII), the "louis d'or" did not exist. 
The French currency, gold and silver alike, was in a state of disorder, not 
having been effectively standardized after the civil wars of a generation or 
more earlier. 

At that time the gold and silver of the Americas was flowing into Spain 
in a steady stream, and in an equally steady stream was flowing out again 
to the Lowlands (then partly Spanish) and other countries. The dominant 
Spanish gold piece of the period (and Spanish coins, gold and silver alike, 
dominated Europe) was called the "pistole", a coin name which has never 
been explained to the satisfaction of numismatists. The "pistole", which 
was then circulating very widely in France, is mentioned constantly in the 
"Three Musketeers." It was a broad gold piece, 22 carats of .916 fine, 
weighing about 6.70 grams, and was rated at 10 "livres tournois." (i) Its 
gold content was about 7 per cent, less than that of our recent $5 gold piece. 
Therefore, when a great French currency reform came in 1640 under 
Louis XIII, what was more natural than to take the ubiquitous pistole as 
the standard for the new French gold unit. (2) From then on "pistoles" 
were restruck into French gold coins in great volume. The new piece was 
given a ribbed edge to expose clipping, which in those days was practiced 
to an unbelievable extent even by the "best people." Halves and doubles 
of the piece were struck. (3) 

Louis XIII died in 1643, leaving his young son, Louis XIV, aged 5 years, 
under a regency during which the coinage continued on the same standard, 
with the gold unit still generally called "pistole" and rated, as before, at 10 
"livres tournois." With the majority of Louis XIV and his ascendancy in 
Europe as "le roi soleil," we came to the creation of the coin name "louis 

Both Louis XIV and his father, Louis XIII, had married Spanish prin- 
cesses, Spain had been the source of much of the specie circulating in France, 
things Spanish were the "mode" in France witness the frequency of the 
word "pistole" in Moliere's plays but there came a turning point. The 
dies for the French gold of both Louis XIII and Louis XIV were cut by Jean 

(1) The "livre tournois" was the old French, monetary unit. Never a coin but 
always a money of account, its value was very nearly but not quite equal to 
the franc, which superseded it in 1795. 

(2) Actually the French g-old ran nearer .900 fine than .916. 

(3) Under Louis XIII four- and ten-louis pieces were struck, but as medallions 
rather than coins. 


Varin (Warm), one of the greatest medalists of the time, the pieces were 
outstandingly handsome, the coinage was abundant, the weight at the time 
was constant, and, above all, the preeminence of Louis XIV in Europe was 
undisputed. Thus the French gold piece bearing the effigy of the world's 
mightiest monarch received quite naturally the name "Louis d'or." And 
just as most of the German princes of the time emulated the grandeur of 
Versailles in their way of living, so they did with their coinages, and over 
the next hundred years there came into being a series of "pistole" sized 
pieces known variously as the "Friedrich d'or," "August d'or," "George 
d'or," and so on. 

As the reign of Louis XIV drew to a close, Prance suffering from the 
almost constant wars of that monarch came to be in a really desperate 
financial condition, which continued throughout the earlier years of Louis 
XV, the period of Law's Mississippi Bubble. The financial legerdemain of 
the early eighteenth century was appalling and extremely complicated; so 
much so that a leading French numismatist wrote recently; "I have read 
various descriptions of these proceedings; none have made them really clear 
to me." Briefly, the operations seem to have been a progressive re-rating, 
sometimes re-stamping, and, in the case of gold, several changes in weight 
and fineness. This, in view of the fact that none of the gold or silver pieces 
bore stamped values, (4) permitted that "louis d'or" to be raised from its 
original rating of 10 livres in 1640 to 12% in 1689, to 14 in 1693, to 15 
in 1704, to 20 in 1709, to 30 in 1716, and even to 36 in 1718. Finally, 
aided by an appreciable reduction in weight, it stabilized at 24 livres, where 
it remained until the French Revolution brought in the new decimal sys- 
tem based on the franc. The changes in creditor-debtor relations in this 
transition were tremendous. 

Stimulating these gyrations was the changing ratio of gold to silver for 
France was on a bimetallic system, in those days shown by the fact that 
while the gold "louis" rose from 10 to 24 livres, the silver crown, or "ecu," 
only doubled in value. These values prevailed for several generations, the 
coins continuing to bear the same old Latin inscriptions without stamped 
values until the volcanic Revolution created in 1795 a new coinage with the 
franc as the unit. The decimal system, based on the metric system, was 
adopted; French instead of Latin legends were used; each piece stamped 
with its value; and, thanks to improvements in coining, the coins were 
more finely executed and more uniform in appearance. The result? an- 
other great coinage under Napoleon I with the 20-franc piece, or "napoleon," 
emerging as the outstanding French gold coin, which, in its turn, through 
the nineteenth century set the standard for many other European gold 
coinages. Now, alas, owing to the upset world conditions, both the napoleon 
and the more famous "louis d'or" are merely collectors' pieces. 

(4) We who nowadays are so accustomed to see a value stamped on all our 
coins must remember that this is a comparatively recent practice. Witness the 
English sovereig-n and crown as survivors of the old custom. 



Arthur C. Wyman 

Several years ago I first heard of a French coin issue that presented cer- 
tain unusual and interesting features, and I then determined to learn more 
about it when the opportunity offered. Recently one of the Paris numis- 
matic dealers showed me a lot of silver pieces forming part of a hoard of 
French coins found in the western part of the country. Among them were 
some 40 or 50 specimens of the very issue which had formerly attracted 
my attention, and as I am now living in the country where they appeared 
it seemed the time to carry out my old resolution. The coins in question 
were all quarter ecus and bore on one side the Latin inscription, variously 
abbreviated, CAROLUS X DEI GRATIA FRANCORUM REX, which, trans- 
lated, reads "Charles X, by the grace of God, King of France," with dates 
from 1590 to 1598 t On the obverse is the shield of France and on the re- 
verse a cross fleurdeUsse, both types common on French coins of tho 
period. The difficulty was that in the years indicated on the coins Henry 
IV was King of France, and the only Charles X to be found in any list of 
French kings is that of Charles X, who, in 1824, succeeded his brother, Louis 
XVIII, during the brief re-establishment of the monarchy after the fall of 
Napoleon, and who reigned until 1830, when he abdicated, being the last 
King of the direct line of the Bourbon family. However, a little reading 
of French history solved the mystery for me, and perhaps the readers 01* 
THE NUMISMATIST will be interested to know what I discovered. 

In 1574 Henry III of Valois became King of France. He was the youngest 
of the three sons of King Henry II and his wife Catherine de Medici, who 
sat successively upon the throne of France and, feebly subject to their cruel 
and unscrupulous mother, allowed her to rule and nearly ruin the kingdom 
in their name. For years previously the country had been in a state of 
disorder amounting at times to actual civil war as a result of the struggle 
between the Catholic and Protestant parties. Catherine's policy of alter- 
nately playing one of these groups against the other in the hope of weak- 
ening each had resulted in nothing but diiaster, and instead of thereby in- 
creasing the authority of the crown, had discredited it and brought it to 
practical impotency. The powerful princes of Lorraine, three brothers, 
the Due de Guise, the Due de Mayenne and the Cardinal de Lorraine, were 
leaders of the Catholic party and by means of an organization known as 
the "Catholic League*' ruled a large part of the country, including the city 
of Paris. The Protestants had placed themselves under the protection and 
leadership of the King of Navarre, a feudal subject and distant cousin of 
the French King. They struggled with varying success to oppose the cam- 
paign of extermination undertaken against them by the Due de Guise, who 
secured from the feeble King the rank and authority of "Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral of the Kingdom.'* The situation was complicated by the fact that un- 
doubtedly the ambitious Due de Guise desired to secure the throne for him- 
self eventually, and the course best suited to serve his personal ambitions 
did not always coincide with that required by the interests of his party. 
He maintained the outward form of loyalty to the King and pretended to 
serve him though actually disregarding his commands. At last the King, 
angered and humiliated beyond endurance, had recourse to the resort of 
weak and cowardly monarchs and secured the assassination of the Due de 
Guise and his brother, the Cardinal. This act, though it rid the country of 
two powerful and designing princes, brought about an open rebellion on 
the part of the Catholics under the Due de Mayenne and a younger brother, 
the Due de Mercoeur. At this juncture the Protestants very politically 


declared that they were loyal subjects of the King, desiring to see his power 
restored and determined to support his efforts in that direction, asking only 
that they be protected from persecution and legal disabilities on account of 
their religion. The King and his followers joined the Protestant armies 
and marched upon Paris, preparing to besiege and take the capital from 
the Leaguers. On the very day in 3589 set for the assault, King Henry III 
was murdered by an insane monk, Jacques Clement, leaving no direct 
heirs. His nearest male relative was his cousin and ally, Henry of Bour- 
bon, King of Navaj-re, who thus became King of France and Henry IV. Be- 
ing a Protcs^aEt. Henry IV was especially objectionable to the League and 
oven many of the late King's supporters, who, though Catholics, had re- 

Silver Frrnc cf Charles X. 

maine-d loyal to the crown because they distru ted the plans and purposes 
of the House of Lorraine, could not conscientiously support a Protestant 
claimant for the throne. Now, Henry of Navarre had an aged uncle, next 
to himself in the line of succession, a Catholic priest, Archbishop of Rouen 
and a prince of the church, Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, whom the 
Leaguers declared King with the title of Charles X. The authorities in 
Paris called a conference of mint officials and ordered coins in the name of 
Charles X. A competition for the design of the new coinage was held, tho 
first time such a thing was done in France, and the winning model was a 
very handsome portrait of the aged Cardinal. It was, however, uaed only 
on the dies prepared for striking silver francs, then, it must be remembered 
the largest denomination struck in silver and of considerably greater value 

Silver- Quarter Ecu of Charles X. 

than the modern coin of the same name. Only a very few francs were Is- 
sued and now they are among the greatest rarities in the French series. 
I have failed to find a record of one offered for sale in Paris for many years 
and am told that today a conservative price for one would be 10,000 francs, 
a respectable sum even at the present rate of exchange. Through the 
courtesy of the officials of the Cabinet des Monnaies at the Bibliotheque 
Nationale I have been permitted to secure the accompanying illustration 
from the specimen in the French national collection. While the stiver 
francs were rare, the smaller silver pieces, the % , the % ecu and the dou- 
zaine, together with the copper tournois and double tournois, were issued 
in great quantities. There were also struck, but more sparingly/ gold ecus 
and half ecus. The ecu and */4 ecu here shown are now in the collection of 
the Museum of the American Numismatic Society at New York. These three 


pieces illustrated are all from the Paris mint, but other mints in towns 
subject to the League's control issued gold, silver and copper of similar 
designs, and in some parts of the country where the regular establishment 
was in the hands of King Henry IV the Catholics started a new one in a 
nearby town. Altogether, 12 mints struck money in the name of the Car- 
dinal King. They were as follows and were designated by the mint letter 
or symbol which I have placed after each name in parenthesis: Paris (A), 
Rouen (B), Lyons (D), Bayonne (L), Riom (O), Dijon (P), Beaucaire 
(R), Troyes (S), Xantes (T), Amiens (X), Bourges (Y), Dinan (99), Aix 
(&) and Marseilles (a ligated A and E). The mint at Dinan replaced for 
the Catholics the regular mint at Rennes, which had as its mint mark the 
figure 9. 

Gold Ecu of Charles X 

Now comes one of the most interesting features of the issue. Henry IV, 
immediately upon the death of his predecessor, had realized the difficulties 
that would result from a movement in support of his uncle, and one of his 
very first acts was to place the old man as his prisoner in the south of 
Prance. Here a few months later he died, first formally acknowledging 
his nephew as lawful King of France. This left the Leaguers in a quan- 
dary. They no longer had a King; true, the Due de Mayenne had suc- 
ceeded to his brother's ambitions and desired the crown himself, but did 
not yet quite dare to openly declare himself, nor did he wish to support any 
other claimant for fear of injuring his own chances later. Meanwhile, 
King Philip II of Spain claimed the French throne for his daughter, as 
heiress of her mother, a French princess, and sent an army into France to 
support her cause. Some of the Leaguers joined the Spanish movement, 
and this brought a reaction in favor of Navarre, for many of the more 
moderate Catholics preferred to have a French monarch, even though a 
Protestant, than to place the nation under the control of Spain, its tradi- 
tional enemy. Also, Henry IV was proving himself each day a capable and 
courageous leader and by his own gallant qualities gaming in popular es- 
teem. For several years more, however, the League kept control of part 
of the country and issued money from several mints, and, no longer hav- 
ing a King of its own, adopted the simple expedient of continuing to use 
the name of the dead Cardinal on the coins. At last Henry IV removed 
the only remaining obstacle to his peaceful occupation of the throne and 
became himself a Catholic. The opposition to him now collapsed and most 
of the mint towns had surrendered to him by 1594. After that date only 
in the west, where the Due de Mercoeur, with Spanish aid, still held out, 
were coins struck in the name of Charles X. In 1598 Henry IV was com- 
pletely and finally successful and the last of the Catholic mints, those at 
Nantes_and Riom, came under the royal authority, and thus brought to an 
end this amazing coinage of a monarch who never reigned and was dead 
for seven of the eight years it lasted. 




I. Snyderman 

Numismatics in Russia followed tlie same broad lines of development as 
in other lands. I shall endeavor to outline briefly the development of numis- 
matics in Russia. It is best to divide this into six different and logical 
periods, as follows: 

I. The use of furs. 

II. The use of foreign gold and silver coins. 

III. The use of ingots (bars) of silver, called "grivna." 

IV. Coins struck in Russia before the Tartar invasion. 

V. Coins struck in Russia during the Tartar-Mongol invasion. 
VI. The new and modern coinage system adopted by Peter the Great in 
the beginning of the eighteenth century. 

In the Russian annals one can find documentary proof that in the beginning 
of the ninth century Russia had a definite economic system. The Russian 
merchants traded with their German and Baltic neighbors in the east and 
with the Greeks in the south. The main articles used were cattle, furs, wax, 
honey, linens and grain, but the chief product of trade was furs. 

The dense forests of Russia made fur-bearing animals rather plentiful. 
There was a great demand for their furs in other countries. The greatest 
demand was for sables, which were priced very high, being much valued for 
purposes of adornment. In Western Europe it was considered a mark of 
distinction to be robed in sables. From De Breme and Helmhold, two of 
the early writers, we learn: 

"The mark of an aristocrat in Rome was the wearing of a sable coat. 
The Russians considered a wealthy and important man not he who possessed 
large stores of gold and silver, but he who could afford to "wear a sable 
coat. Even if just the "faldoon" were worn (this was the long, full type 
of coat) trimmed with sable furs, its owner was considered to be a more 
important individual on this account." We can understand from this that 
furs were an important medium of exchange. 

In 945 A. D. the Grand Duke Igor paid tribute to the Greeks with furs, 
and in the year 946, when the Grand Duchess Olga conquered the Drevliani 
(or Woodsmen) the conquered tribes paid her tribute in furs. In these 
specific ways we can understand the increasing importance of skins in 
Russian trading. 

Always, when large payments were required, the full skins of the animals 
were used, but for the small retail local trade this method was somewhat 
inconvenient. Therefore, for payment of small purchases the people cut the 
skins in halves and in quarters and stamped on the various parts in order 
to indicate their value in trade. 

In the course of commerce with other nations the Russians were paid 
with gold and silver coins of various types, such as nobles, portugaloesers, 
ducats, thalers, crowns, etc. The Russians used to melt the silver coins and 
cast them into bar form. They were then used as units of weight and were 
called "grivna." 

The etymology of this word is interesting: Karamzin, a famous Russian 
writer, tells us that the word originally came from "griva," which means 
horse's mane. Many diverse theories as to the origin of the word are held. 

Gerberschtein, the representative in Russia from the Holy Roman Empire, 
affirms the theory that these "grivna" were in use in Russia during the 
thirteenth century. According to his contention, these ingots were used 
without any counterstamping at all, but they were known to be equal in 
value to one pound of silver. Tatischieff tells us that gradually the weight 
was reduced to one-half pound, and in 1225 to one-quarter pound- 


There were two types of grivna those of Novgorod, which were cast bars 
of silver, each about five inches long and three-quarters of an inch wide, 
and those of Kiev, which were about four inches long and were rather thick 
and hexagonal in shape. Then these grivna of Novgorod were crudely cut 
in half, and each of these two parts were given the name of ruble, which 
comes from the Russian word, "rubit," which means, "to chop." 

Later these rubles, as we term them, were counterstamped with the 
various coats-of-arms of the different dukes, of Novotorzhok and others, who 
had charge of the coinage, such as it was, in their own provinces. In thei 
beginning the grivna was equivalent to two rubles. It must be understood, 
however, that these early rubles were crudely cast and not at all resembling 
the ruble as we know it today. 

These rubles were used to pay tribute to the conquering dukes, who were 
constantly warring among themselves, or to foreign conquerors, or for use 
in foreign trade. For the general use they employed the foreign coins, 
thalers, etc,, which were counterstamped, many of them chopped in halves 
and quarters for expediency in smaller purchases. These foreign coins, 
counterstamped, were called "effimki." You are probably acquainted with 
the history of the first thaler, the Joachimsthaler. "Emm" is the Russian 
name of "Joachim," and thus the expression "eflSmki," which was used to 
denote the coins used during the seventeenth century. 

We shall discuss now the actual metal coins struck in Russia before the 
Tartar invasion. Malgin, one of the early Russian writers, informs us that 
there was a copper coin struck for Oleg (who was one of the early Varyag 
dukes who were called in to rule Russia) in the style of a cup-shaped 
nomisma (numis scyphatys). To substantiate this statement, Baron Kone, 
former curator of the numismatic cabinets in the Hermitage Museum, in 
1858, submits a rubbing of a coin in the Imperial collection of Stockholm, 
which coin corresponds to the one described by Malgin. 

There are many theories relative to the fact that metal money was struck 
in Russia as early as the tenth and eleventh centuries. G. Bunge, of Kiev, 
possessed two coins which had been found in the Kiev Pecharska Lavra. One 
was of gold, the other silver. One of these coins (the silver one) was 
presented by Bunge to the Society of History and Antiquity of Russia. These 
coins were attributed to Vladimir I (called Vladimir the Holy), 980 to 1015. 
Many treasures of coins of this type were found, thus giving credence to the 
above theory. 

However, there were a few archeologists and numismatists of foreign 
lands who believed that these coins were of Bulgarian, Servian and Galitzian 
origin, because these coins were contemporary with the use of fur skins and 
also parts of fur skins, leather money and foreign gold and silver coins in 
Russia. Still others expressed the theory that these coins were merely award 
pieces, handed out by the Grand Dukes of Kiev to their prominent military 

But in 1860 Prof. A. A. Kunik (of the Russian Academy of Science) pub- 
lished a famous treatise (Russo-Byzantine Coins of Yaroslav I Vladimiro- 
vitch) which proved, from nearly every scientific angle, that the coins of the 
Grand Dukes, Vladimir I, Sviatopolk and Yaroslav I are, without any ques- 
tion of Russian origin. In the same manner, the famous numismatic expert, 
Graf I. I. Tolstoy, in his book on old Russian coins of the Grand Duchy of 
Kiev, arrives at the same conclusion. In support of this theory he studied 
a total of 173 specimens, 43 of which had been found in Niezin in 1852. The 
balance were contained in the Hermitage Museum and in important private 
collections. Based upon his studies of this subject, the logical conclusions 
were reached that all these coins were definitely of Russian origin and 
Russian striking and are without doubt of the period of Vladimir I (980- 
1015), of Sviatopolk I (1015-1016) and Yaroslav I Vladimirovitch (1016- 
1054). All the Russian coins of that period show the influence of Byzantine 

Now we shall discuss the coins struck in Russia during the Tartar in- 
vasion, from the beginning of the thirteenth century onward. Paradoxically, 
although the Tartar invasion caused much distress and great destruction in 
Russia, it gave an impetus to the numismatic advance, and in this field was 
very helpful. This was due to the fact that the Tartar chiefs demanded the 
payment of taxes and tribute in silver currency, and were not satisfied with 
the earlier crude substitutes. 


It is Important to note that the coins struck by the Dukes during the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, during the Tartar rule, were struck bear- 
ing both Russian and Tartar characters. 

During the reign of Dmitri Ivanovitch Danskoy (1362-1389), who was the 
first Duke of Moscow, the first coins (bearing characters of both Russian 
and Tartar tongues) appeared. The motto on the coin (in the Tartar langu- 
age), meant: Health, Sultan, Tachtamish-Khan, and these were sent to the 
Khan in tribute. There are also records of coins of this sort being struck 
by Ivan III Vasilivitch (1462-1505), which were sent to Khan Mohamed 
Usbeck, bearing the same inscription. All these coins were of small bits of 
amorphous gold, silver and copper. There are known, also, larger denomi- 
nations of gold and silver, which were cast and chiseled by the native 

I feel very proud to possess such a specimen in my own collection. It is 
a gold rouble of Vasili Ivanovitch III, the father of Ivan the Terrible. The 
coin is chased in gold. Vasili was the Grand Duke and Czar of all Russia. 

The amorphous bits of metal used as currency were merely the foreign 
silver thalers, etc., hammered out and cut into smaller bits of metal and 
then counterstamped. 

In 1469 Grand Duke Ivan Vasilivitch sent to the Duke, Vasili Uchtomsky, 
two gold coins as a token of appreciation for victory over the army of Khan 
Ibrahin of Kazan. In 1551 Tsar Ivan Vasilivitch (The Terrible) sent to 
the Khan of Kazan-Shig-alen, a quantity of gold coins to be awarded as gifts 
to his army. 

In 1553 he gave to every high army officer a gold coin for the victory 
over his enemy at the River Kamma. In 1558, the same Czar awarded a 
number of gold coins for the conquest of the Port of Nuschloss, in Livonia. 

Then, in 1559, he also awarded a few gold coins to Adasheff and his higher 
army officers for his victory over the Tartars. 

In 1605 Czar Boris Gudonoff sent a number of gold coins to the Duke 
Mizensky for the victory over the Pretender, Dmitri. 

In 1609 the Czar Vasili Ivanovitch Shuysky awarded a gold coin to 
Michail Feodorovitch Romanoff for the victory over his enemies who tried 
to usurp his rule. 

In most of these cases, the coins were struck of native dies or hand 
chiseled. Occasionally the award pieces were foreign coins bearing a 
Russian counterstamp. To prove this point there are said to be some of the 
early ducats (from foreign countries) bearing Russian counterstamps. The 
larger pieces were called rubles, and the smaller ones kopeks. The origin 
of the latter word kopek is interesting. 

On all these coins will be found the figure of the Czar mounted on horse- 
back and usually spearing the dragon. Many persons, unfamiliar with 
Russian numismatics, believe this figure to be St. George. The spear is 
called, in Russian, "kopio" and the "kopieka" and finally "Kopek** is hence 

It must be remembered, that for the general use in commercial inter- 
course, both domestic and foreign, only these smaller bits of amorphous 
money were used. The larger pieces were award pieces and so were struck 
only for special occasions. 

With the accession of Peter the Great, however, in 1689, there was in- 
troduced to Russia the modern coinage, which he learned about from his 
studies and travels in Holland and in Western Europe. Peter introduced 
the first large gold coins (rubles and half rubles, struck in gold) and also 
double-ducats, ducats, and 2-rubles for the regular coinage. 

On the 25th of January, 1712, by the Imperial order, coins of gold, 2 and 
1 ducat denominations, were struck, and thus began the modern coinage, for 
which gold, silver and copper were used) and also platinum during the reign 
of Nicholas I). 

With few exceptions, the coinage has remained about the same until the 
present day, including the period since the establishment of the U. S. S. R., 
during which time silver and copper coins of similar denominations have 
been struck, and in 1923 gold coins (tchervonetz) were struck in limited 



A. M. Rackus 

We can trace back the history of ruble to about 1000 years ago. Ruble 
is known to us as a distinct Russian monetary unit, and yet it seems that 
ruble did not originate in Russia. Some facts lead us to believe that ruble 
originated in Lithuania, and later it migrated into Russia. 

No. 1. 

The oldest type of Lithuanian boat-shaped "luitas" or "grivna," cast 
in a rough sand mold, found in the region of Tchernigov It weighs 193 
gramms Illustrated in Bolsunovski's "Russkiia Monetnyia Grivny, 
Kiev, 1903. 

The earliest circular coin bearing the inscription "ruble" on it was 
struck by Czar Alexiei Mikhailovitch in 1654. For an excellent article and 
illustration treating of this ruble see Blatter fur Mtinzkunde, Leipzig, 1835, 
No. 15, II, PL XI. Prior to 1654 rubles were curiously primitive. They 
were cast as silver bars in sand molds, then these bars were cut into two 
equal parts, each part resembling a broken boat or a severed finger. The 
oldest-type rubles were boat shaped, while the later ones were finger shaped. 

Etymology Ruble in Lithuania was called "kapa." The term "kapa" 
is derived from the Lithuanian verb "kapat," meaning "to cut" or "to 
chop." The word "ruble" is derived from the White Russian verb "rublit," 
which also means "to chop." Hence both terms, kapa and ruble, literally 
mean "a cut piece of silver." 

Early History During medieval ages in Lithuania any individual had 
the rig'ht to cast silver into bars of customary weight and purity. There 
was an unwritten law, however, that smelters were under obligation to 
refine silver before it was cast into kapas (rubles), and those that were 
caught cheating were put to death. There is a very early record in L*ivo- 
nian Statute of A. D. 1228, where it is stated that the death penalty will be 
imposed on those attempting to debase silver by adding to it even 1/16 
part of other base metals. (See Czacki, Olitewskichi polskich prawach, 
Warszawa, 1800, Vol. I, p. 171.) This is the reason why silver bar rubles, 
whenever found in Baltic States, are always nearly pure. 

How early did kapas or rubles appear in Lithuania? In my opinion they 
originated in that country between the ninth and tenth centuries. I derive 
my deductions from the following facts: 

and r 
the Lithu 

No. a. 

later type of Lithuanian finger-shaped "luitas" with cut notches 
eady to be broken into "kapas" or "rubles." This specimen is in 
ithuanian Museum of Kaunas and. weighs over 190 g^ramms. 

No gold or silver mine was ever found in Lithuania. Neither did North- 
ern Russia have any silver mines in olden days. Yet it is surprising what 
a vast amount of silver circulated in Lithuania in the ninth century. Va- 
rious treasure troves found in Lithuanian territory prove it. At the begin- 
ning of the ninth century Arabian merchants frequented Lithuania to 


purchase fine furs, beeswax and precious amber. Brisk trading between 
Arabians and Lithuanians went on for about two hundred years. Arabians 
brought to Lithuania millions of their Cufic silver coins and silver orna- 
ments. There was great excitement among archaeologists in 1909 when 
laborers, digging ditches at Gazdava, near Smolensk, accidentally discovered 
a large treasure trove, which consisted of Arabian silver rings and Cufic 
coins. Several other hoards were dug up in various parts of Lithuania, 


Original boat-shaped silver ruble or kapa of Lithuanian type. Side 
and front views. It weighs 96 gramms. Described and illustrated by 
Bolsunovski of Kiev. Note the seven holes drilled at the bottom, of the 
bar. the purpose of which is unknown. 

where Cufic coins and silver bar rubles were found together; but in each 
find the quantity of Cufi coins was very small. This would indicate that as 
soon as a sufficient quantity of silver coins were gathered together they 
were melted and cast into bars, which were ready at any time to be cut 
into kapa or ruble pieces. It is a well-known fact to historians and archae- 
ologists that in A. D. 1012 the Arabian trade with Europe abruptly ceased, 
and no more Cufic coins streamed into Europe. For more details concern- 
ing Arabian trade see Jacob, Der nordisch-baltische Handel der Araber, 
Leipzig, 1887. These facts also support my belief that kapas (rubles) 
already existed in Lithuania between the ninth and tenth centuries, when 
Arabo-Lithuanian commercial relations were culminating. 

Old Russian chronicles give very scant information about rubles. Accord- 
ing to Baron S. Chaudoir's research, the earliest date mentioning ruble in 
Russian chronicles is 1317. Excavations in the northern part of Russia also* 
throws very little light on this subject. During the period of Tartaric in- 
vasion of Russia (1230-1400) the Golden Horde exacted enormous quan- 
tities of silver from the Russian people. Russian chronicles state that 
when Kiev was threatened by the Golden Horde in 1399, Kiev citizens had 
to pay to Khan Timur Kutluk a contribution of 3000 Lithuanian rubles. 
This proves that Lithuanian silver bar kapas (rubles) circulated freely in 
Kiev long before 1399. See Karamzin, Hist. Ross., V, 171. 

In the Russian province of Novgorod, marten skins were circulating as 
money up to 1410. Russian chronicles say that in 1410 Novgorod adopted 
Lithuanian money as legal tender, and the use of marten skins as money 
was discontinued. See Tatistchev, Istoriia Rossii, IV, 458. Evidently there 
was an abundance of Lithuanian money in Novgorod long before 1410, and 
in the market Lithuanian money had a strong purchasing power or Rus- 
sians would never adopt foreign currency for their legal tender. In the 
Duchy of Pskov and other Russian localities, Lithuanian rubles were circu- 
lating freely as early as the beginning of the thirteenth century. 

One of the most interesting specimens, which created a sensation among 
Lithuanian numismatists recently, is the silver bar ruble with five different 
counterstamps on it. This specimen we illustrate here. 


No. 4. 

Lithuanian boat-shaped kapa (ruble) with five Russian counterstamps. 

Starting from the top down to the cut end we note the following counter- 
stamps: (1) Griffon, the old seal of the city of Pskov, which was struck on 
the ruble probably when Livonian Knights took possession of Pskov in 
1240; (2) a portrait of a duke, probably that of Yaroslav Yaroslavitch, who 
ruled Pskov in 1253; (3) a rosette or a Byzantium cross, which might be 
the seal of City Council during interregnum; (4) the portrait of Lithuanian 
Duke Daumantas, who was invited by the citizens of Pskov to rule them in 
1266-1299; (5) a square-shaped seal, which is hard to identify on account 
of being weakly struck. This ruble piece in the shape of a dugout boat, 
which is typical of Lithuanian kapa, undoubtedly was made before 1240, 
and circulated in Lithuania for some time before it reached Pskov and 
before the first counterstamp was struck on it. 

The purpose of counterstamping Lithuanian rubles (kapas) by Russian 
dukes was either to legalize their circulation in Russian provinces or to 
claim their ownership and to record the name of the reigning duke. Numis- 
matists know that most counterstamped coins, whether ancient or medieval, 
as a rule originally were issued in a foreign country. The same rule applies 
to Lithuanian rubles with Russian counterstamps on them. Another strik- 
ing feature is that whenever silver bar ruble hoards are excavated in 
Lithuanian territory they are never found counterstamped. Only two in- 
stances are recorded where few bar rubles were found with counterstamps 
in the Baltic States. In Russian territory, however, most bar-shaped rubles 
are found counterstamped. These facts would indicate that ruble originated 
in Lithuania and then migrated into Russia, where it was adopted later as 
a national Russian monetary unit. 


Roy W. Osburn 

"QERHAPS the best known and fin- 
IT est of platinum coins are those 
issued in Russia during the reign of 
Czar Nicolas I in the first half of 
the nineteenth century. When these 
coins were issued, platinum had not 
come into its present high favor as 
a material for use in jewelry and 
the arts. Nor had the scientific age 
developed and created its demands 
for this almost indestructible metal. 
So a high value had not come to be 
placed on platinum as witness a 
statement on these Russian coins 
that they were exchangeable for 
silver, presumably on a weight-f or- 
weight basis. 

Other legends on the coins are de- 
nomination, date and name of the 
mountain range from which the 
platinum ore was extracted. 

The reverse bears only the em- 
blem of Imperial Russia, the two- 
headed eagle with symbols of 

authority. The significance of the 
eagle with two heads is that the 
Russian monarchs claimed not only 
rulership over Russia but also in- 
heritance of the Greek (Byzantine) 
branch of the Roman Empire. In 
this connection it is significant that 
the term czar is a form of the word 
caesar, a title used by the early 
emperors of Rome. 

The coins are of three denomina- 
tions: three, six and twelve rubles. 
Their weights are one-third, two- 
thirds and one and one-third troy 
ounces and in monetary value they 
would have been the equivalent of 
about $0.57, $1.14 and $2.28. At the 
present value of about three times 
that of gold, the platinum in this 
set of three coins would be worth 
over $250. Of course the rarity, 
beauty and wide fame of these 
pieces give them, if nice specimens, 
a value many times their metallic 



A. M. Rackus 

Etymology For many centuries the most popular coin In Russia was the 
"kopeck," or, as natives call it, "kopeika" (pronounced '*cop-ei-kah") . The 
Russian term "kopeika" is a diminutive form of the word "kopio" and it 
means "a spear.*' Some readers might think that spears were really used as 
money in Russia, but it was not so. At the end of the fourteenth century 
certain coins circulated in Russia upon which was the design of a spear, and 
Russians simply applied the term "kopeika" ( = "little spear*') to such coins. 

History We are quite sure that no kopeck coins existed before A. D. 
1372. The first kopeck coins probably were struck at Gardinas (Grodno) 
shortly after 1372 by Prince Vytautas the Great, who was appointed in that 
year by his father, Kestutis, Grand Duke of Lithuania, to rule the territory 
of Gardinas. 

Fig. 1. 

1 _ The oldest known kopeck, struck at Gardinas ca. A. D. 1372. Obv., 
a crude spear, the personal slg-net of Vytautas the Great. Rev., Castle gates 
known as "pilis," the ancient coat of arms of Lithuania. 

Vytautas the Great was a worshipper of Thunder-god, but in 1383 he em- 
braced Christianity and began to strike coins with a cross above his personal 
signet. The following kopecks were probably struck at Lutsk, the tempo- 
rary capital of Vytautas, between 1384-1392: 


Fig. 8. 

Fig. 4. 

pier 2 _ Obv. spear (kopeika) pointing- to left with a cross above it. Rev., 
castle gates, "pilis," without central turret. Reference: Stronczynski, Table 

yjg. 3 bbv., spear pointing- to left with a cross surmounted on the three- 
pronged shaft. Note the style of the cross, which is decidedly Teutonic. 
Vytautas was baptized at Tapiau (Prussia) in the presence of Conrad Zollner 
von Rottenstein, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, lience he was under 
Teutonic influence. Perhaps the engraver of the dies was also a hired Teuton. 
Rev "pilis" g-ates with a central turret on it; a crescent and traces of bead- 
ed semi-circle. The crescent was a symbol of Moon-god ("Menulis ), wor- 
shipped by pagan Lithuanians. Evidently Vytautas still respected the pagan 
religion of hit father. Teichman Nr. 163 and 165; diam., 13 mm.; wt., 0.31 

"4 Obv., spear pointing- to right instead of to left, with a cross sur- 
mouted on its dbuble-pronged shaft Rev., '^'^' ^tes^it 

ret on it. Around it a beaded circle. 
wt., 0.33 gr. 

Czapslci Nr. 10048; 

iam., 13 m 


In 1392 Vytautas became Grand Duke of Lithuania and ruled over im- 
mense territories until his death in 1430. He was one of the most powerful 
princes in Europe. Numerous Russian dukes became vassals of Vytautas 
In order to escape the terrib!e Tartar yoke and enjoy peace and prosperity 
under his protection. Even the khans of the Golden Horde and the Tartars 
of Crimea respectfully feared Vytautas and many times asked him to be 
their supreme judge in their disputes. 

From 1392 to 1430 Vytautas the Great issued millions of kopecks at his 
mint in Vilnius (Vilna), the capital of Lithuania. Those that were intended 
for circulation within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were of the following 

Fig. 5. 

Fig. 6. 

Fig. 5 CXb-v., within a beaded circle, perfect sp^ar (kopeika) pointing- to 
left, ^nirmQunt&d by a cross o*i tJate shaft. Rev., within similar circle, * piHs" 
g-ates and a dot in the center. The dot mig-ht mean a mint mark, less like- 
ly a denomination. This perfect specimen is in the author's collection; 
diam., 12 mm.; wt., 0.33 gr, 

PigT. 6 Obv., speai pointing- to left intersects long- cross; above the point 
of the spear initial V, meaning- Vytautas No circle. Rev., within a. beaded 
circle, "pilis"" grates and a dot in the center. (Stronczynski III, p. 51.) 

For the immense Russian territory Vytautas issued silver kopecks of 
special design and weight. 

Fig. 7. 

Fig. 8. 

Fig. 9. 

Fig 1 . 7 Obv., spear pointing- to left and a dross above it. Rev., Russian 
inscription, "PETCHAT," meaning- "the seal," to be read from rig-ht to left 
(Stroncz. t. XXVIII, c.). 

Pig. 8 Obv., peculiar type of spear with a cross surmounted on it; above, 
a dot, which is a mint mark. Rev., distinct Russian word ''PETCHAT ," 
meaning "a seal," to be read from left to right. (Ryszard Nr. 219.). 

Pig. 9 Obv., perfect spear pointing to left, with a cross surmounted on 
its shaft. Rev., Russian word "PE3TCHAT" ( = "a seal") to be read from rig-ht 
to left. (Tyszkiewiez J. Skorowidz Monet Litewskich, Nr. 1.). 

All kopeck coins of this type are of fine silver, somewhat cup-shaped, 
about 12mm. in diameter, weighing about 0.760 gr. each. The word "PET- 
CHAT" is purposely struck to tell the people that the design spear and cross 
is the seal of Grand Duke Vytautas, who guarantees the standard of these 

History tells us that the Golden Horde held under its heel practically all 
Russia for a long time, and Tartars forced the unhappy Russian dukes to 
place on their coins "tamga" (the sign of Tartar supremacy). Such coins 
were called "denga." Under the reign of Vytautas the Great, however, silver 
kopecks minted in Lithuania were driving out the Tartar dengas from Rus- 
sian markets. Pious Russian people had several motives for preferring 
"kopeikas" to "dengas"; first, because Lithuania "kopeikas" had a cross on 
them (the symbol of hope, victory and salvation), while "dengas" bore the 
insolent Tartar -'tamga," the symbol of Mongolian invasion, infidelity and 
slavery; and secondly, because "kopeikas" contained better silver than "den- 
gas." Russian people looked upon Vytautas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, 
as their emancipator from the Tartar yoke. Slowly but surely Tartars be- 
gan to loose their foothold in Russia, commercially as well as politically, 
and Vytautas nourished the idea of driving out the terrible hordes of Tam- 
erlane and freeing all Russia from the Tartar yoke. 


In 1399, Tartar Khan Tamerlane unjustly overthrew Khan Tokhtamysh 
and appointed Timur Kushluk to his throne. Vytautas, as a protector of 
Tokhtamysh, declared war against the Tartar horde. He led his army into 
Tartary and wrote this message to Khan Timur Kushluk: "Pay your tribute 
to me and stamp my seal on your coins/* which was equivalent to a recog- 
nition of Vytautas' supremacy over Tartars. Khan Timur Kushluk being 
confused by such bold demands, begged to be allowed three days' time to 
think the matter over. In the meantime, Mongolian Khan Edygei arrived 
with an immense army to aid Timur Kushluk. A terrible battle took place 
at Vorskla. Vytautas lost the battle, but Tartars were weakened also, and 
the danger of Mongolian invasion passed away. 

We illustrate some Tartar silver coins bearing counterstamps of Vytautas 
the Great, as documents of the constant struggle between Tartar "dengas" 
and Lithuano-Russian "kopecks/* 

. 10. 

Fig. 11. 

Fig. 12. 

. 10^-Obv., Tartar "deng-a" counterstamped with "pilis 1 ' g-ates, coat of 
arms of Lithuania during- the reign of Vytautas. Rev., Tartaric inscription. 
Czapski NT. 6975; 17x15 mm.;' wt. 0.94 gx. 

Fig. 11 pbv., Tartar "denga" counterstamped with "pills" coat of arms 
of Lithuania; in field, 4 dots arranged in the form of a cross, which might 
mean a certain mint mark. Rev., traces of Tartar inscription, obliterated 
during counterstamping. Stroncz. PI. XXVIII, b. 

Fig. 12 Obv., Tartar "denga" counterstamped with the cross of Vytautas 
the Great. This specimen is in the collection of H. Mankowski. 

These "dengas," rechristened "kopecks," were, the earliest Known counter- 
stamped coins in Lithuania and in Russia, hence they are very important to 
many numismatists. Such mute pieces reveal to us many facts. Vytautas 
the Great evidently was planning another war against Tartars, and he count- 
erstamped their coins purposely to humiliate them. Since the plain coat of 
arms of Lithuania wasn't effective enough, Vytautas finally counterstamped 
their coins with a cross. Tartars, as we know, professed Mahometan religion, 
and what more could provoke a Mahometan than a cross struck over the 
name of Mahomet. Notwithstanding such humiliation, Tartars never dared 
again to raise their arms against Vytautas. Upon Russian people such 
counterstamped coins made a deep impression, and they took it for a sign 
to shake off the unbearable yoke of infidel Tartars. A little design on a 
coin aroused and united the Russian nation until it finally succeeded in 
liberating itself from Tartar oppression. Such is the origin and such is the 
role that kopeck played in Russian history. 

Numismatics in Imperial Moscow 

In Moscow before the Revolution,, each Sunday the vast Sukhorevka 
market place was crowded; there one could buy livestock, farm produce, 
furniture, almost anything . . . One could always find at least twenty 
peddlers with pushcarts and portable tables, who sold only old coins and 
medals. There were also many "pocket dealers." . . . The author while 
a school boy in Moscow . . . usually went there with some older and more 
experienced numismatists. Some of the peddlers possessed remarkable 
knowledge of coins, some were quite unscrupulous . . . The first price 
quoted was always outrageous and only after a period of violent bar- 
gaining was a reasonable price reached. Moscow also had several "digni- 
fied" numismatic stores but for bargains and excitement nothing could 
compare with Sukhorevka. Excerpt from "Rubles of the Successors of 
Peter the Great," by A. E. Kelpsh, The Numismatist, August, 1950. 



A. E. Kelpsh 


In the preparation of any work dealing with numismatics the 
writer cannot avoid pondering the fate of the men who were responsible 
for the coins which form the subject matter of his discussion. In the 
preparation of this particular article however, there is another human 
factor which -became inseparably a part of any present-day study of 
Russian coins: the fate of the men from whom the author acquired his 
initial knowledge in numismatics the fate of the numismatists of 
Russia, under the Soviet Regime. 

The day the Soviet Government established itself in Russia, was the 
doomsday for all Russian coin collectors. 

Numismatics was not a new hobby in Russia. During the reign of 
Catherine n (1762-1796) the number of coin collectors among the 
nobility was such, that some of them, being unable to obtain specimens 
of rare coins of preceding reigns, petitioned the empress to order the 
mint to strike the desired coins from original dies and their request was 
granted. During the 19th century the number of collectors increased 
considerably, many numismatic works were published, and by the time 
of the first World War, the hobby was very popular with the educated 
class in Russia. The beginning of the war in 1914 brought the order 
from the Russian Imperial Government to turn in all the gold. However, 
as in the U.S.A. coins of numismatic value or interest were excluded. 

But the persecution of Russian numismatists began soon after Lenin 
and his followers seized power in October of 1917. One of the new 
government's early orders commanded collectors to surrender their 
coins to the nearest Soviet office, under severe penalties for failure to 
do so. In as much as the study of numismatics was very popular only 
among the intelligent class, which, almost without exception, had been 
hostile to bolshevik or communistic doctrines, the new rulers of Russia 
did not have to make any concessions or show any leniency. 

Many of the Russian numismatists died in the White armies, trying 
to fight the spread of communism in Russia ; many others were executed 
in the torture chambers of Cheka (Soviet Gestapo), or perished in the 
concentration camps. In a number of cases their only guilt was the 
possession of high school or college education. Only very few were 
fortunate enough to escape abroad. 

In the early Twenties The Soviet Government established a so-called 
Numismatic Bureau for "Study of Numismatics." However, the actual 
reason behind this move was the necessity of cataloging and appraising 
the confiscated coin collections, prior to their sale abroad. Many of 
these collections are listed in auction catalogues and price lists of German 
coin dealers 1924-1928, The foreign currency realized from such sales 
was used for communistic propaganda abroad. 

The science of numismatics no longer exists in the Soviet Union. 
According to the "proper" communistic point of view, it is nothing but 
"Capitalistic Folly" and "Bourgoise Hobby." Certainly, no right think- 


ing Soviet citizen would ever stoop so low, as to collect some obsolete 
coins bearing portraits of former czars and sometimes having religious 
inscriptions as well. 

Thus the present day study of Russian coins brings the inescapable 
conclusion that tyranny and despotism continue to nourish in this world 
in one form or another, and that barbarism has not, as yet, been relegated 
to ancient history. 

Peter the Great 

Russia was conquered by Mongolian hordes during the first half 
of the 13th century. The Russian princes were forced to pay tribute 
to Tartar Khans and Russia was kept isolated from the rest of Europe. 
Although, at the end of the 15th century the Tartar domination was over- 
thrown, the Russians still continued to cling to ancient ways of life and to 
many oriental customs which had been acquired during the Mongol rule. 

Such was the condition when, in 1672, Peter was born. Peter was son 
of the second czar of Romanoff's dynasty, Alexei Mikhailovitch, after 
whose death in 1676, Theodor, elder brother of Peter, inherited the throne, 
After Theodor's death in 1682, Peter was proclaimed czar, but his sister 
Sophia, with the support of "streltzy" (ancient Russian troops) com- 
pelled him to divide the rule with his feeble-minded brother Ivan, with 
herself as princess regent. During the seven years of Sophia's rule, 
Peter had no active voice in the affairs of the state, but spent his time 
with "Play Troops. " These he organized and trained with the help of 
several foreign officers. He also frequented the foreign settlement in 
Moscow, where he learned much of Western Europe and its ways of life. 
In 1689 the followers of Sophia proclaimed her the sole ruler of Russia 
and tried to overthrow Peter. The revolt was frustrated, Sophia was 
banished into a monastery and Peter became the full czar of Russia. 

In 1695 Peter tried unsuccessfully to take the Turkish port of 
Azov on the Black Sea. The following year however, by the use of new- 
ships built under the direction of foreign masters, the port was captured. 
Selected men were then sent abroad to learn shipbuilding and other 
useful trades. A diplomatic mission was also sent into Western Europe, 
the czar himself being an incognito member. This mission visited 
Germany, Holland, England and Austria. Peter eagerly examined all 
the industries, especially those which pertained to naval science and 
to other useful trades. In some of these places he even worked as a 
helper, amazing everybody with his quickness in learning things. 

In 1698, in his absence from Russia, another revolt took place and 
Peter immediately returned to Moscow. His two sisters Sophia and 
Martha, together with his wife Eudokia, who were the instigators of 
the trouble, were made nuns, while all the other participants in the 
plot were executed. 

Then Peter started his struggle with ancient Russian customs and 
prejudices, which he knew were detrimental to his country's progress. 
One of the first orders prohibited the wearing of oriental robes and of 
beards. Beards were prohibited for the higher classes and for govern- 
ment officials and employees, while others could retain theirs only upon 
the payment of a tax, for which copper receipt tokens were issued. Some 
of these tokens bear the slogan "A beard is an additional burden." 


A number of other important changes took place: the establishment 
of a police force, regulation of taxation, division of the country into 
gubernatorial districts and a number of measures for promotion of 
industry and trade. Russia, at that time, had no free access to the 
ocean. Although it possessed several points on the Black Sea, the only 
exit, Bosporus, was in Turkish hands. The Baltic shores, too, belonged 
to Sweden. Peter decided "to cut through the window into Kurope" 
by taking from Sweden the shores of the Baltic. The war started in 
1700 and at first the Russians met with several setbacks. Later, however, 
with Peter's "Play Troops" as the nucleus of the new army, the Swedes 
suffered a number of crushing defeats. At the peace treaty of 1721 the 
Baltic shores were ceded to Russia, after which Peter adopted the title 
of "Emperor." His war with Persia was also successful and resulted in 
the annexation of several important provinces along the shores of the 
Caspian Sea. In 1703 he founded on the Gulf of Finland a city, which 
became the new capitol of Russia St. Petersburg. 

Peter died in January, 1725, of pneumonia, which he contracted 
while rescuing drowning people from icy waters. During his whole 
life Peter was faced with numerous uprisings throughout the country, 
as a result of his new ideas. His sisters, his first wife and his son, who 
died in prison, sided with the "old way of life" party. In his private 
life Peter was a man of loose morals, cruel and without mercy even to 
his nearest relatives, but as a statesman, organizer and troop leader he 
is almost without equal. 

In conclusion, because of its connection with the study of rubles, the 
following incident in Peter's life is cited, although its authenticity is by 
no means certain. Peter, who was a man of tremendous height and 
strength, was riding one day with several men of his staff, when his horse 
lost a shoe. Dismounting at a blacksmith shop in the next village, Peter 
ordered the blacksmith to make a horseshoe. "Let me see it," said Peter 
after the shoe was made and taking it in his hands he straightened it. 
"This horseshoe is no good, make me another one," he ordered, throwing 
the bent iron into a corner of the shop. Several other horseshoes met 
with similar fate before Peter was satisfied. After the work was com- 
pleted, Peter threw the blacksmith a silver ruble. To Peter's amazement, 
the smith bent the coin in his hands and threw it into a corner saying, 
"This ruble is no good, give me another one." Several other silver rubles 
were treated in the same fashion, until Peter, taking the hint, gave 
the smith a gold piece. 

Russian Coinage Before and During the Reign of Peter the Great 

Among the many reforms introduced by Peter, was the establish- 
ment of regular coinage. Prior to his time, the czars of Moscow coined 
only the archaic denga {half kopeck) and kopeck. Both were of a very 
crude and irregular fabric and often of uncertain metal finess Peter's 
father Alexei Mikhailovitch tried to issue some larger denominations. 
Altin (three kopeck piece) was minted similar to denga and kopeck, 
while segments of European talers were counterstamped to pass for 
quarter ruble. The minting of half ruble was also tried, but only a 
very small number was produced in each case. 


Alexei also made an attempt to coin rubles, but the amount actually 
struck was again very limited, and the mint, not even equipped to make 
silver blanks, had to coin these rubles over foreign talers. The foreign 
talers had a large circulation in Muscovite dominions under the name 
of "Yefimki" (singular Yefimok) due to the absence of similar domes- 
tic currency. They were usually valued at 100 denga or 50 kopecks. 
During the reign of Alexei Mikhailovitch, the mint counterstamped a 
number of these talers, thus increasing their value to 64 kopecks. 

Gold coinage for general circulation did not exist at all, such coins 
being struck only to be given as reward for distinguished military service, 
or for other outstanding services. Copper coinage had been attempted 
during Alexei's reign, but, due to improper handling by the authorities, 
these coins created such confusion in the country, that there resulted 
a so-called "copper rebellion," after which this venture was abandoned. 

Peter the Great established uniform coinage in all metals. There 
was no abrupt change in Peter's coins, rather a gradual improvement 
during his reign. The first of Peter's rubles was coined in 1704 and no 
earlier ones exist, although some foreign sources mention these coins 
as early as 1701. No rubles prior to 1704 were known to Russian 
numismatists of the old times, who for a century and a half combed 
the whole country for any possible varieties of coins. 

There are several hundred die varieties of Peter's rubles and it 
would not be practicable to list them all, so the author limited this 
monograph to the description of every different type and to yearly 
listings, making notations about some of the more outstanding die 


Note: Because of the printing difficulties, the Slavic legends and dates are 
not incorporated in the text, but can be found at the end of the article. 

1. Ruble 1704 

Obv. Leg.#l. (Czar Peter Alexievitch, Ruler of all Russia) Young bust in 
ornamental armor, bare head. 

Rev. Leg.#2. (Good coin, price ruble 1704) Crowned double-headed eagle. 

Edge: plain. 

Many die varieties: With or without Moscow mint-mark (L,eg.#3) under 
the eagle, Leg.#4 instead of Leg.#5, variation in crown, cracked die, 
etc. Quite a few of these early rubles were struck over foreign talers. 


2. Ruble 1705 

Obverse, reverse and edge are similar to #1, Slavic date 1705. 

Many die varieties: With or without Moscow mint-mark (Leg.#3) under 
the eagle, II-I under the eagle, E in date is turned around (Leg.#6), 
crown with open bottom, crown with or without pearles, etc. 

3. Ruble 1707 

Obv. Leg,#7. (Czar Peter Alexievitch, Ruler of all Russia) Bust in armor 

older and different than the preceding, laureated head. 
Rev. Leg.#8. (Moscow ruble) Crowned double-headed eagle, the legend 

is over its upper part in a single line. Below the eagle is the Slavic 

date divided by the tail. 
Edge: plain 
Several die varieties: No letter on the sleeve, letter H, letter G. 


4. Ruble 1707 

Obv. Similar to #3, somewhat different bust, H on the sleeve. 

Rev. Leg.#8. (Moscow ruble) in two lines divided by the crown. Below 
the eagle is Slavic date 1707 divided by the tail. 

Edge: plain. 

This type is very rare. 

5. Ruble 1707 

Obverse, reverse and edge are similar to #3, below the eagle is the 
modern date 1707. 

Several die varieties: No letter on the sleeve, letter H, G, small crown 
between the words on obverse, larger bust, etc. 

6. Ruble 1710 

Obv. Leg.#7. Large bust. 

Rev. Leg.#9. (Russian ruble 1710) Eagle, under the wings is the Moscow 
mint-mark (Leg.#3). 

Edge: plain. 

Die varieties with or without H on the sleeve. Very rare. 

7. Ruble 1710 

Obv. Leg.#7, somewhat different bust. H on the sleeve. 

Rev. Leg.#10. (Good coin, price ruble 1710) Eagle, no mint mark. 


8. Ruble 1712 

Obv. Leg.#ll. (Czar Peter Alexievitch) Slender bust in armor with 


Rev. Leg.#12. (Moscow ruble 1712) Eagle. 
Edge: plain. 
Several die varieties: No periods in date, smaller head, open crown, etc. 

9. Ruble 1714 

Obv. Leg.#7. Bust in armor. 

Rev. Leg.#12, but date 1714. Eagle. 

Edge: plain. 

This date is very rare. The variety with 4 over 3 in date is more common. 

10. Ruble 1718 

Obv. Leg.#13. (Czar Peter Alexievitch, Autocrat of all Russia) Bust in 

Rev. Leg.#14. (New coin, price ruble) Slavic date 1718, crowned double- 
headed eagle. 

Edge: Leg.#15. (Legal Moscow ruble of denga coin mint 1718 I.L.) 


Very large number of die varieties: Letters under the bust OK, KO, L 
on eagle's claw, smaller head, different ornaments in armor, one or 
two rows of rivets in armor, legend beginning below the bust, N in 
date instead of Leg.#16, MAHETA, MOHETA with O over A, date 
1719 on edge, different spelling of edge inscription, etc. 

11. Ruble 1719 

Obverse and reverse are similar to #10, Slavic date 1719. 
Edge: Leg.#17. (Legal Moscow ruble of denga coin mint 1719.) 
Many die varieties: MAHETA, MOHETA with O over A, letters, OK, 
KO, on eagle's tail L, smaller head, different ornaments in armor, 
embroidered mantel, one or two rows of rivets in armor, L on eagle's 
right claw, eagle with large crown, different edge spelling, one has 
Leg.#18 instead of #19, etc. 

12. Ruble 1720 

Obverse, reverse and edge are similar to #11, Slavic date 1720. 

Many die varieties: Letters KO, OK, K, without letter, armor with or 
without ornaments and with or without rivets, larger or smaller crown, 
robe with or without buckle, palm leaf on the breast, rosettes instead 
of periods, edge with 1718, edge with many variations in spelling, etc. 


13. Ruble 1721 

Obverse, reverse and edge are similar to #11, Slavic date 1721. 
Again a large number of die varieties similar to preceding. 

14. Ruble 1723 

Obv. Leg.#13, different spelling. Bust in Roman armor with open neck. 

Rev. Leg. #20. (New coin, price ruble 1720, 1723) Crowned double-headed 

Edge: plain. 

This ruble with two conflicting dates is called a pattern coin (?) by 
several authorities. Chaudoir, in his work on Russian coins, also 
mentions rubles with Slavic dates 1722 and 1723 of bust and eagle type. 
Since no rubles of bust and eagle type were struck for circulation after 
1721, these two coins listed by Chaudoir are rare trial or pattern pieces. 

15. Ruble 1722 

Obv. Leg.#21. (Peter Alexievitch Emperor and Autocrat of all Russia) 
Bust in armor, robe. 

Rev. Leg.#22. (New coin, price ruble) Four crowned Russian P's in a 
form of a cross, inside of the two P's 17-22. 

Edge: Leg.#23. (Russian ruble of coin mint.) 

This new bust and cross type has also many die varieties: Different 
spelling in titles, different number of leaves in wreath, larger or 
smaller date, star above head, etc. 

16. Two rubles 1722 

Obv. Similar to #15. 

Rev. Leg.#24. (New coin, price two rubles) Similar to #15. 

Edge: braided. 


This is a very rare pattern coin. Some restrikes exist, they have a 
plain edge. 

17. Ruble 1723 

Obv. Leg,#21. Bust in Roman armor with open neck, on the breast is 

a double eagle with only two heads showing. 
Rev. Similar to #15, 17-23. 

Edge: Leg.#25. (Russian ruble of Moscow mint.) 
Many die varieties: Different hair curls, different amount of laurel 

leaves, OK under the bust, etc. 

18. Ruble 1723 

Obv. Leg.#21. Armor covers neck, eagle on the breast, ermine robe, 

chain and cross of St. Andrew's order, OK on the sleeve. 
Reverse and edge are similar to #17. 
Many die varieties: Large or small St. Andrew's cross, different number 

of jewels in its chain, rosettes instead of periods in titles, different 

spelling of titles, etc. 



19 Ruble 1724. St. Petersburg mint 

Obv. I^g.#26. (Peter I, Emperor and Autocrat of all Russia) Bust in 

armor, below is the St. Petersburg mint-mark (Leg.#27). 
Rev Leg.#28. (New coin, price ruble) Four Russian P's in a form of a 

cross, somewhat different than preceding. In the center is the star of 

St. Andrew's order, which looks like sun. 
Edge: braided. 
Prior to 1724 all the rubles were struck only at the Moscow mint. In 

1724 St. Petersburg mint commenced its operation and the first type 

issued at the new mint acquired the name "sun ruble," due to Its reverse. 
Again a number of die varieties: With or without OK under the bust, 

different spelling of titles, different punctuation, open or covered neck, 

different hair ribbons, etc. 
20. Ruble 1724. Moscow mint 
Obv. Similar to #17. 

Rev. Similar, to #19, no star in the center. 
Edge: Leg.#29, (Russian ruble of Moscow mint.) 
Many die varieties similar to preceding: Roman armor with open neck, 

with or without OK under the bust, different punctuation, variations 

in spelling of edge inscription, etc. 

21. Ruble 1725. St. Petersburg mint 

Obverse, reverse and edge are similar to #19, date 1725. 

Many varieties: With or without the star (sun) in the center, with or 
without necktie, star over head, cloverleaf, different number of rivets 
in armor, cross above the head, different spelling of titles, one with 
Leg.#30, etc. 

22. Ruble 1725. Moscow mint 
Obv. Similar to #17. 
Rev, Similar to #20, date 1725. 
Edge:- Similar to #20. 

Several varieties: Roman armor with or without OK, dots instead of 
scales on armor, dots below I's on reverse, etc. 


23. Ruble 1733 

Obverse and reverse are similar to #17. Bust in Roman armor, edge 

This ruble with anachronistic date is called a pattern by Petrov, while 

some other sources claim that this coin is an imitation of Peter's ruble 

by some Caucasian nation. 

Prices of Certain Rubles of Peter the Great 

As valued by Russian numismatists at the beginning of 20th century. 

In order to give some indication of the degree of scarcity of the rubles 
described in this monograph, below are shown approximate prices of some die 
varieties. The quotations are in U.S. dollars. At that time the Russian ruble 
was equal to approximately 50 cents in U.S. money. 

1. No mint mark $3.50, Moscow mint mark $7.50, Moscow mint mark and 
cracked die $17.50, crown without pearls $30.00 

2. No mint mark or Moscow mint mark $3.00, Moscow mint mark with E in 
date turned around $12.50, no mint mark with E turned around $25.00 

3. No letters or letter H $5.00, letter G - $25.00 

4. Very rare - $250.00 

5. Letter H - $7.50 

6. Very rare $250.00 

7. -$15.00 

8. Different varieties $4.00 to $10.00 

9. 1714 - $150.00, 4 over 3 - $25.00 

10. No letters, OK, OKL, regular date $2.50, N in date, OKL with small date, 
small head - $5.00, KO - $3.50, no rivets in armor - $10.OO 

11. OK many varieties $2.00 to $5.00, OK ILL $3.00, L $12.50 

12. KO $5.00, OK, no letters, many varieties $1.50 to $10.00 

13. K, no letters $1.50 

14. Very rare $150.00 

15. $2.00, robe with sharp angle beyond shoulder $10.00 

16. Original - $200.00 

17. Common varieties $1.25 

18. OK with small St. Andrew's cross $1.25, large cross lying flat on the 
breast $25.00 

19. "Sun rubles" $2.50, protruding hair ribbon $25.00 

20. No letters - $1.25, OK - $3.50 

21. Common varieties $2.50 to $5.00, scarce $10.00 to $20.00 

22. No letters - $1.25, OK - $3.0O 

23. -$50.00 






Le.G*4 XI O BAA A 
5 A OB PA A 



L..s*J2 MOCKOBCKI PKBAb 1.7.1-2 






LcG'27 COB 





1700 yAV 1712 

1701 ^A^A 1713 

1702 j^A^B 1714 

1703 .I'AS^r 1715 

17 O4 fAWA 1716 

17O5 ,rAVE 1717 

1 7 O 6 xAV- 7 S 1718 

1 7O7 xAf 3 1719 

17 OS >A^M 172O 

1 7 O9 AAy-O 1721 

1 7 1 O *A.Vl 1 722 

1711 >AS^A1 1 723 

Engravers, Whose Initials Appear on the Coins of Peter the Great 


H. Haupt, 1707-1710 
G. Gouin, 1707-1710 
DJL. - ..... 1713-1713 
I -J J ' Jean lauig, 1718-1719 


K.O.-0rid Koenig, 1718-1725 




O. P. Eklund 

The inscriptions found upon Russian coins, usually the name and titles 
of the rulers, mints and values, are in Russian (Slavic) characters. A 
great number of restrikes of nearly every type of coins were made at the 
principal mints up to the year 1850, when, it is said, all of the old dies 
were destroyed by order of the Minister of Finance. Many of these restrikes 
are rare and highly valued by collectors in Europe. 

The following article deals with coins struck for circulation only. The 
illustrations are made from coins in the writer's collection. 



1TO1 1702, 






Peter I, 1689-1725. 

kopeck (poluska), 1700-18. Obv., The Russian Imperial eagle 
surrounded by inscription. Rev., value and Russian date in field 
inscription around the border. 

No. 2. 

2. % kopeck (denga), 1700-18. Similar. 


3. *4 


No. 4. 

4. ^4 kopeck, 1718-22. Similar, but with Arabic date. 



1 kopeck, 1704-18. Obv., St. George, without mantle, legend sur- 
rounding. Rev., value and Russian date in field, legend. 

No. 6. 

6. 1 kopeck, 1704-18. Similar, but the saint is wearing a mantle, which 

is flowing behind. 

A great number of varieties of the above described coins are known, with 
or without inner circles, etc. They differ also materially in size and weight. 
On most specimens mint marks appear below the horse. While most of the 
coins are common, some of the dates and varieties are extremely rare. 

7. 5 kopecks, 1721-25. Obv., The Russian eagle within a circle in center, 

surrounded by five pellets, indicating the value. Rev., value, date 
and "year" in a cross. 

Special Coinajte. 

8. 1 kopeck, 1724. Obv., St. George within a circle, the date above, 

"year" below. Rev., value in a frame. Scarce. 

No. S. 


So-Called Beard Money, 

9. Beard kopeck. 1705. Obv., a man's nose, mouth and beard; above, 
"Beard Money." Rev., the Russian eagle above, date aiid "year." 
Rare. This coin is usually found countermarked with the Im- 
perial eagle in round depression. 

No. 9. 

The coins were used as tax receipts, allowing the owner to wear a beard. 
Catherfna I, 17S5-1727. 

10. 5 kopecks, 1726-27. Same type as in preceding reign. 


No. 1O. 

6 kopecks,- 1727. Same. Countermarked with the Imperial eagle 
and St. Petersburg's mint marks (below) in square indent. Ex- 
tremely rare. Said to have been so countermarked and circulat- 
ed as two-kopeck pieces in the reign of John III, 1740-41. 

No. 11. 
Plate coins, Struc-k nniface on square flans. 

No. 125. 


12. 1 kopeck, 1726. The Russian eagle within a circle flanked by the 

date in the four corners. The value above and the name cf Ekater- 
ineburg mint below. 

13. 1 kopeck, 1726. Similar, but the date at sides of the circle. 

14. 5 kopecks, 1726. Similar to last. 

Original specimens of the preceding three coins are extremely rare, and 
they were probably never issued for circulation. 

15. 10 kopecks, 1725-26. The value, date and name of mint, within a 
circle, in center. At each of the four corners the Russian eagle 
in circle. 

Original specimens are very rare. Several varieties are known large 
and small eagles with round, square topped, or 110 shield upon the breast. 
A very rare variety shows the monogram of the Empress in place of St. 
George upon the shield, and another extremely rare one displays two Rus- 
sian letters in relief on reverse. Other denominations quarter, half and 
one rouble were made, but not for circulation, only a few original speci- 
mens being known. Restrikes of the first three denominations are not very 
rare. They are said to have been made in the reign of Catherina II and 
probably later. 

Peter II, 1727-172O. 

No. 16. 


1 kopeck, 1728-29. Obv., St. George; in the exergue, 

(mint). Rev., the value and date in a cross. 
17. 5 kopecks, 1729. Same type as in preceding reigns. 



Anna, 173O-1T4O. 

kopeck (poluska), 1730-40. Obv., the Russian eagle. 

Rev., value 


and date within cartouche, 
of the last reign). 

(Mostly struck over one-kopeck coins 

No. 18. 


kopeck (denga), 1730-40. 
kopeck coins of Peter I). 

Similar. (Mostly struck over one- 

No. 19. 

20. 5 kopecks, 1730. Same as in preceding reigns. 

John HI, 174O-1741. 

21. *4 kopeck, 1741. Same as in last reign. Rare. 

22. ^ kopeck, 1741. Similar. 

Elizabeth, 1741-17625. 

23. ^4 kopeck (poluska), 1743-50. Obv., the Russian eagle. Rev., value 

and date in cartouche. 

24. U kopeck (denga), 1743-54. Similar. 

No. 25. 

25. 1 kopeck, 1755-57. Obv., the monogram of the Empress (E5. P.= 

Elizabeth Petrowiia) upon an ornate shield supported by an eagle 
in clouds. Rev., similar, but with the value replacing the mono- 
gram upon the shield. The date below. On some of the coins 
the name of the mint is struck in relief upon the edge. Most of 
the coins were struck over old five-kopeck pieces of preceding 

SecoiI Coinage. 

26. ^4 kopeck (poluska), 1757-59. Obv., script monogram (E3. P.) divides 


the date within a wreath. Rev., St. George, the value on a band 

27. *& kopeck (denga), 1757-60. Similar. 

28. 1 kopeck, 1757-61. Similar. (Some of these coins were struck over 

old Swedish coins.) 





2 kopecks, 1757-62. Similar. 

2 kopecks, 1757-62. Similar, but the value above instead of below 
the horseman. Scarce. Most of the last two varieties were struck 
over one-kopeck pieces of the first coinage, some specimens show- 
ing the original lettering on the edge and the old date on the re- 
verse, thus displaying two different dates on the same coin. 

5 kopecks, 1757-62. Obv., similar to last. Rev., the Russian eagle* 
the value on a band below. 

Peter III, 1762. 

2 kopecks, 1762. Obv., St. George flanked by two stars indicating the 
value. Rev., value and date above a military trophy. 

No. SB. 

33. 4 kopecks, 1762. Similar but with four stars. 

34. 10 kopecks, 1762. Similar but ten stars. 

These coins are generally found struck over coins of the last reign. A. 
one-kopeck of this type was struck, but not for circulation. It is exceed- 
ingly rare. 

Catherina H, 1762-1796. 

No. 36. 

35. 14 kopeck (poluska), 1765-96. Obv., the monogram of the Empress 



divides the date within a wreath, 
upon a band below, 
kopeck (denga), 1765-96. Similar. 

Rev., St. George, the value 


No. 38. 

1 kopeck, 1763-96. Similar. 

2 kopecks, 1763-96. Similar. . 

5 kopecks, 1763-96. Obv., as preceding. Rev., the Russian Imperial 
eagle, the value upon a scroll below. 

No. 89. 

A large number of the last three denominations were struck over coins 
of the preceding reign. 

In 1796 a new coinage, consisting of ^4 , y 2 , 1, 2, 4, 5 and 10 kopecks, 
displaying the monogram of the Empress and dots for values (on the larger 
denominations) on obverse, and value and date on the reverse, was in- 
augurated, but because of the death of the Empress in November that year 
It, is said none of the coins were issued for circulation. Of the last de- 
nomination a large number were struck which were later restruck from old 
five-kopeck coin dies for circulation in the following reign. Many of these 
coins were so lightly struck that the old device, value, date, etc., is plainly 

40. 14 kopeck (poluska), 1797-1800. 

value and date. 

41. % kopeck (denga), 1797-1801. Similar. 

42. 1 kopeck, 1797-1801. Similar. 

Paul I, 1796-1 SOI. 

Obv., Russian PI crowned. 



No. 48. 






2 kopecks, 1797-1801. Similar. 

Alexander I, 18O1-1825. 
First Coinage 

% kopeck (poluska), 1802-10. Obv., the Russian eagle. Rev., value 
and date. A single circle around the border either side. Rare. 

% kopeck (denga), 1802-08. Similar, with two circles. Scarce. 

1 kopeck, 1802-08. Similar, with four circles, over which a large "boss 
within circles above. Scarce. 

2 kopecks, 1802-08. Similar, but five circles and two bosses. Scarce. 

No. 47. 

5 kopecks, 1802-10. Similar, but five bosses. The bosses, or knobs, 
on the coins indicate the values on the last three, the circles on 
the first two. 

49. Vs, kopeck (denga), 1810-25. 

Rev., value in wreath. 

50. 1 kopeck, 1810-25. Similar. 

Obv., the Russian eagle, date below. 



No. 51. 

51. 2 kopecks, 1810-25. Similar. 

Of the 2 kopecks, 1810, there are two varieties: With the date in straight 
or curved line. 

Nicholas I, 1835-1855. 
Fii*st Coinage. 

52. % kopeck (denga), 1827-30. Obv., the Russian eagle, date below. 

Rev., value within wreath. 

53. 1 kopeck, 1826-30. Similar. 

54. 2 kopecks, 1826-30. Similar. 




No. 54. 
Second Coinage. 

1 kopeck, 1830-39. Obv., similar to last, but the eagle holds thun- 

derbolt, torches, wreath and streamers instead of the usual scep- 
ter and orb. Rev., value, without wreath. 

2 kopecks, 1830-39. Similar. 
5 kopecks, 1830-39. Similar. 

No. 58. 

58. 10 kopecks, 1830-39. Similar. 
Coins of this type, dated 1830, are rare. 




Tliivd Coinage. 

% kopeck, 1839-47. Obv., Russian NI crowned. Rev., value and 

date in four lines. 
% kopeck, 1839-47. Similar. 
1 kopeck, 1839-47. Similar. 

62. 2 kopecks, 1839-47. Similar. 

No. 63. 

3. 3 kopecks, 1839-47. Similar. 

Fourth Coinagre. 

64. *4 kopeck (poluska), 1849-55. Similar to last, but the value and 

date in two lines. 

65. % kopeck (denga), 1849-55. Similar. 

66. 1 kopeck, 1849-55. Similar. 

67. 2 kopecks, 1849-55. Obv., the Russian eagle with St. George on a 

shield, within the Order of the "White Eagle, upon the breast, and 
three shields of arms of provinces on either wing. Rev., value 
and date within a closed wreath. 

68. 3 kopecks, 1849-55. Similar. 







No. 69. 

kopecks, 1849-55. Similar. 

Alexander II, 1&55-18S1. 
First Coinage. <First Type). 

i kopeck (poluska), 1855-59. Obv., All crowned. Rev., value a.nd 


' 2 kopeck (denga), 1855-59. Similar, 
kopeck, 1855-59. Similar. 

kopecks, 1856-59. Obv., the Imperial eagle same as the last coin- 
age of preceding reign. (No streamers on the crown). Rev., value 
and date in closed wreath. 
kopecks, 1856-59. Similar, 
kopecks, 1856-59. Similar. 


( S eeoinl Type ) . 

76. *4 kopeck, 1859-67. Similar to last coinage, but the crowns and 

dates are smaller and the letters larger. 

77. % kopeck, 1859-67. Similar. 

78. 1 kopeck, 1859-67. Similar. 










No. 81. 

2 kopecks, 1859-67. Similar to the first type, but the horseman on 

the shield is charging- to left instead of right, four shields on each 
wing (eight instead of six provinces), and streamers on the crown 
above the eagle. 

3 kopecks, 1859-67. Similar. 
5 kopecks, 1859-67. Similar. 

Second Colnngre- 

% kopeck, 1867-81. Obv., ornate All crowned, between branches 

crossed below. Rev., value and date. 
% kopeck, 1867-81. Similar. 

1 kopeck, 1867-81. Obv., the Russian eagle, value incuse below, in- 

scription above. Rev., value in field, date and "year'* incuse above. 

2 kopecks, 1867-81. Similar. 

3 kopecks, 1867-81. Similar. 

No. 87. 
5 kopecks, 1867-81. Similar. 

Alexander HI, 1881-1894. 

% kopeck, 1881-94. Obv., AIII crowned, between crossed branches. 

Rev., value and date. 
% kopeck, 1881-94. Similar. 

1 kopeck, 1882-94. Same as last coinage. 

2 kopecks, 1882-94. Similar. 

3 kopecks, 1882-94. Similar. 

Nicholas II, 1894-1917. 

*4 kopeck, 1894-1916. Obv., Russian Nil crowned, between branch- 
es. Rev., value and date. 
% kopeck, 1894-1916. Similar. 


95. 1 kopeck, 1895-1916. Same as in preceding reign 

96. 2 kopecks, 1895-1916. Similar. " 

97. 3 kopecks, 1895-1916. Similar 

98. 5 kopecks, 1911-1916. Similar. 

Soviet Union . 
First Coinage. 

99. 1 kopeck, 1924. Obv., Arms of the Union (globe, Hammer and sickel, 

etc.), legend ("Proletarians of the World Unite*'). Rev., value 

and date between ears of wheat. 
300. 2 kopecks, 1924. Similar. 
101. 3 kopecks, 1924. Similar. 

Obv., Arms of the Union (globe, hammer and sickel), etc., legend 
Proletarians of the World Unite"). Rev., value and date between ears of 





No. 1O2. 

102. 5 kopecks, 1924. Similar. 

kopeck, 1925- 

No. 108, 

Obv., in the field CCCP. (Russian SSSR for So- 


cialists' Soviet Society Republic), legend as on preceding, 
value and date. 

Second Coinage. Bronze. 

1 kopeck, 1926 . Same as last. Reduced size. 

2 kopecks, 1926 . Similar. 

3 kopecks, 1926 . Similar. 
5 kopecks, 1926 . Similar. 

Arma.vire. North Caucasus. 

No. 108. 

roubles, 1918. Obv., double-headed spread-eagle. .Legend, "Ar- 
mavir branch of government bank." Rev., value and date between 
sprays of laurel, above: "Exchange sign" = token made for use as 
change. Very rare. Issued as a necessity coin during the revo- 
lution, by the "White Government." 



Alexander H, 1855-1881. 

109. 1 penni, 1865-76. Obv., ornate All crowned. Rev., value and date. 
111*. lO P ^iVlI. S Sar, with the value and date in a wreath. 

Alexander III, 1881-1894. 

112 1 penni, 1881-94. Same type as in preceding reign. 

113. 5 pennia, 1888-92. Similar. 

114. 10 pennia, 1889-91. Similar. 

Nicholas II, 1894-1916. 

115. 1 penni, 1895-1915. Obv., ornate Nil crowned. Rev., value and 


116. 5 pennia, 1895-1915. Similar. 

117. 10 pennia, 1895-1917. Similar, with wreath on reverse. 

No. ISO. 

THE REVOLUTION, 1917-1918. 
Coins Issued by the Provisional Government. 

118. 1 penni, 1917. Obv., the Russian eagle with shield of arms of Fin- 

land on the breast. Rev., value and date. 

119. 5 pennia, 1917. Similar. 

120. 10 pennia, 1917. Similar, with a wreath on reverse. 

Issued by the <4 Reds." 

121. 5 pennia, 1918. Obv., three trumpets, behind which a red flag, with- 

in a wreath. Legend: "The Peoples' Work, the Peoples' Power. 
Finland 1918." Rev., valxie. Very rare. 


122. 1 penni, 1919-24. Obv., a lion holding a sword standing upon a 

curved saber; in the field, nine roses (coat of arms), date. Rev., 

123. 5 pennia, 1918 . Similar. 

124. 10 pennia, 1919 . Similar. 

(For later coins of Russia and Finland see "Coins of the World/' pub- 
lished by Wayte Raymond, Inc., New York.) 


Catherine. II, 1762-1796. 

125. % kopeck (poluska), 1767-80. Obv., BII in monogram within a 

wreath. Rev., value and date within a crowned cartouche. Scarce. 

126. y 2 kopeck (denga), 1766-80. Similar, but the value and date upon. 

a shield supported by two sables. Scarce. 

127. 1 kopeck, 1766-80. Similar. 

128. 2 kopecks, 1766-80. Similar. 

129. 5 kopecks, 1766-80. Similar. 

No. ISO. 

130. 10 kopecks, 1766-81. Similar. 

Catheriwa II, 1762-1796. 


No. 131. 

1 para (3 dengas or 1 1 / 2 kopeck), 1773. Obv. Four double E's linked 
and crowned in form of a cross, with H in center. Rev., the 
Russian eagle with arms of the two provinces upon the breast. 
Name, value and date. Very rare. 



1 para, 1771. Obv., B II monograzii crowned. Value (3 dengas) 
and date. Rev., eagle as last, name and value (para), S (Sadogura 
mint) below. 


133. 1 para, 1771-74. Obv., two shields of arms (Moldavia, a bull's head; 
Wallachia, a raven holding a cross in its beak, standing upon a 
crown, a crescent above). Legend "Money of Moldavia and 
Wallachia", date in ex. Rev,, value in panel. 


No. 134. 

2 paras (3 kopecks), 1772-74. Similar. 

These coins were struck at Sadogura, in Wallachia, mostly from metal 
obtained by melting down cannons captured from the Turks. 

Under Russian Suzerainty, 17&1. 





Bisti, 1781-96. Obv., the Russian eagle, the tail dividing the date. 

Rev., name in Georgian (Heracles), name and date in Persian. 

Bisti, 1796. Similar, but single-headed eagle. Rare. 

Alexander I, 1SO1-1825. 

5 phuli, 1805-10. Obv., "Tiflis" in Georgian, a mural crown above, 
branches below. Rev., value, "Georgia" and date in Georgian 
characters. Very rare. 

No. 137. 

10 phuli, 1805-10. Similar. Scarce. 
20 phuli, 1805-10. Similar. Scarce. 


Under Russian Protection. 1777. 
Shahm Gcrai, 1777-1783. 


140. Poluska ( *4 kopeck), 1777. Obv. titles of the Sultan in four lines. 

Rev., "Struck at Baghcheserai," date and regnal year (Year 4). 

141. Denga ( ^ kopeck), 1777. Similar, but with a wreath around the 

border on reverse. 

142. Kopeck, 1777. Similar, but larger (Years 4 and 5). 

143. Kyrmis, 1777. Similar, but much larger (Years 4-6). Four different 

wreaths on the reverse. 

The preceding coins were struck at Baghcheserai, the following- at Kaffa. 

144. Tschal, 1777. Obv., the toghra, or monogram, of the Sultan, a small 

ornament to left. Rev., "Struck at Kaffa 1191" (1777 A. D.), 
regnal year above. Rare. (One of the largest circular copper 
coins ever minted.) 

145. Tschal, 1777. Similar, but a small rose branch either side of the 

toghra. Rare. 


Older Russian Protection, 17!><>-1SO7. 
First Coinage. 

146. 1 gazetta, IS 01. Qbv., the Lion of St. Mark's, name in Greek. Rev., 

value in Greek, date. 

147. 5 gazetta, 1801. Similar, the value in Arabic. 

No. 148. 

148. 10 gazetta, 1801. Similar. 

Well struck on ordinary, thin planchets. 

Second Cofnagre. 
Rudely struck on thick planchets. 



1 gazetta, 1801. Similar, the value in Greek. 
5 gazetta, 1801. Similar. 

No. 151. 

151. 10 gazetta, 1801. Similar. 
These coins are all extremely rare. 


John Casimir, 1648-1668, 

152 Solidus 1650. Obv., I. C. R in monogram, crowned, divides the date. 
Rev., SOLIDVS . REGNI POLONI/E. Spread eagle with the 
"Vasa" shield of Sweden on the breast. Rare. 

No. 153. 

BIDGO . (Bromberg city). 

153. Solidus, 1650. Similar, but POLONI 


154. Solidus, 1650. Similar, but the date on reverse, in the legend. Rare. 

No. 155. 


Solidus, 1650. Obv., monogram as last between branches, no dato. 
Rev., SOLID I REGNI | POLONI | 16-50. Rare. 

156. Solidus, 1659-66. Obv., IOAN CAS . REX. Bust to right, laureated. 

Rev., SOLID REGNI . POLON . date. Spread eagle. (Varieties. 
PO., POL., POLO, etc.) 

Augustus III, 1733-1763. 

157. 1 schilling, 1749-55. Obv., AVGVSTVS. III. REX POL. Bust to 

right, in armor. Rev., EL. SAX. (Elector of Saxony), date. Ornate 
shield of arms of Poland, Lithuania, and Saxony. 

158. 3 schillings, 1752-58. Similar, with the value, (sometimes found re- 

placed by the mint mark) below the arms. 


The busts on these coins differ considerably, being very corpulent from 



No. 158. 
Stanislaus Augustus, 1764-1795. 

Solidus, 1767-92. Obv., S. A. R in monogram divides the date. Rev. r 

I | SOLID | R. P. (Regni Poloiii). 

H grossus, 1762-92. Similar, but V 2 | GROSSUS j REG. POL. 
^ grossus, 1786. Similar, but POL GROSZA | Z MIEDZI | KRAIOW 

on reverse. Very rare. 

No. 162. 

162. 1 grossus, 1765-94. Obv., similar to preceding. Rev., I . GROSSVS . 

REG . POL . M. D. L. (Regent of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithu- 
ania). Crowned shield of arms upon a wreath of laurel. 

163. 1 grossus, 1786. Similar, but GROSZ Z MIEDZI KRAIOWEY on 

reverse. Rare. 



grossus, 1765-66. Obv., STANISLAVS AVG. D. G. REX POL. 
M D L Bust to right in armor, and wearing the Oxder of the 
White Eagle. Rev., GROSSVS POLON TRIPLEX, date. Arms as 


No. 165. 

3 grossus, 1766-95. Similar, but head instead of bust. 
3 grossus, 1786-92. Similar but TROIAK Z MIEDZI KRAIOWEY 
on reverse. Rare. 

Frederich August of Saxony. 

As Grand Duke of Warsaw, 1807-1815. 


167. 1 grosz, 1830-14. Obv., shield of arms of Poland and Saxony, 
crowned, between branches. Rev., value and date. 



No. 168. 

3 grosze, 1810-14. Similar. 

Under Russia. 
Alexander I, 1 15-1825. 

1 grosz, 1815-21. Obv., the Russian eagle with arms of Poland upon 
the breast. Rev., value, POLSKI and date. 

No. 17O. 

170. 3 grosze, 1815-21. Similar. Scarce. 

171. 1 grosz, 1822-25. Similar, but ZMIEDZI KRAIOWEY on reverse. 

172. 1 grosz, 1826. 

Nicholas I, 

Same as last. Rare. 

No. 173. 

173. 3 grosze, 1826-27. Similar. Scarce. 

174. 1 grosz, 1828-35. Similar, but with value, POLSKI and date only, 

on reverse. 

175. 3 grosze, 1828-35. Similar. 

No. 176. 




The Revolution 1831. 

3 grosze, 1831. Obv., KROLESTWO POLSKIE. Shield of arms of 
Poland, crowned. Rev., 3 j GROSZE | POLS. | 1S31 within a 
wreath of oak. 

1 grosz, 1836-41. 
within wreath. 

Ne\v Coinage. 

Obv., the Russian eagle. 

Rev., value and date 

No. 178. 

178. 3 grosze 1836-41. Similar. 

Xo. 179. 
Fvee Oty of Krakau (1815-1846). 

179. 3 grosze, 1835. Obv., crowned arms of the city (a spread eagle 
within the doorway of a three towered city gate). Rev., value 
and date In wreath. Very rare. (Poorly struck). 


Fredei-icli Casimiv (OiedL in 1698). 

ISO. Solidus, 1696. Obv., FRID. CAS. IN . L. C. S. DVX. Bust in armor. 
Rev., SOLIDVS CVRLAND.-K 1696. Spread eagle. Rare. 

Charles, 1759-1762. 

Xo. 181. 

181 Solidus 1762. Obv., D. G. CAROL. PR. REG. POL. & SAX. Bust 
to right, wearing avmor. Rev., IN LIV. CVRLAND & SEM. DVX. 
1762. Crowned shields of arms of Poland and Lithuania, side 
by side; in ex., SOLID. Rare. 


John Casirniy, 1648-1668. 

182. Solidus, 1661-68. Obv., IOAN CAS. REX. Head to right, laureated. 
Rev., SOLI. MAG. DVX. LIT. date. The horseman of Lithuania. 




Besieged by the Russians. 

field, 6 GROSZY above crossed branches. Rare. 

No. 183. 

184. 6 groszy, 1813. Similar, but with value and branches only on reverse. 



Under Austria. 

1 grossus, 1794. Obv., MONET. AER. EXERCIT. CABS. REG. The 
Austrian eagle, draped flags below. Rev., I GROSSVS POL. 
1794., crossed branches underneath. 


No. 186. 

Ill grossi, 1794. Similar. 

Mintmarks found upon Russian copper coins. 

Up to and including the first coinage of Elizabeth, all ot" the copper coins 
were probably struck in Moscow, at several mints, M-M, M. M-A, M-A, 
BK, HA, K. A (all Moscow); later mints, E. M. (Ekaterineburg) , B. M. 
(Warsaw); A. M f Annesk) , CUM (St. Petersburg), G M (Sesterbek in 
Finland), K. M. (Kolywan in Siberia), M. M (Moscow), T. M. (Theodosia in 
the Crimea, a very rare mint mark on coins of Catherina II). Most of the 
other mint-marks are the initials of mint directors. 



Randolph Zander 

Peter the Great carried out many great enterprises during his 
long and stormy reign. He prevailed over his enemies at home and 
abroad ; he built the magnificent city of St. Petersburg his window 
on the Baltic; he laid the foundation of a native industrial system by 
the importation of teacher-craftsmen from the west; and he enlarged 
Russian commerce with the west. 

Peter hoped that he could infuse the energy of the western peoples 
into his conservative, half-Asiatic subjects. Beside various practical 
measures to that end, he undertook a reform in men's styles: upon his 
return from Europe in 1698 he decreed that his Russians should dress 
like Europeans in the German fashion, as he termed it and shave 
their patriarchal beards. It would be unfair to say that Peter hoped 
this external change alone would alter the habits and ideas of his 
subjects, but certainly the quixotic energy with which he pushed this 
particular reform shows that he expected deeper and more lasting 
results than it really produced. 

The czar's frontal attack on the customs of his people produced 
a violent and indignant reaction; the Boyars with cold dignity reminded 
the sovereign that a bearded man was the image and likeness of God, 
and petitioned him most urgently to save them from the blasphemy 
of beardlessness. Even the autocrat of all the Russias found it expedient 
to temper his ukase, and late in 1698 he ordered the striking "from 
red copper" of 50,000 chekhi or tokens with a representation of a beard 
on one side and the date on the other. This was the first beard token. 
It was intended to be given as a sort of receipt to persons who, by 
paying an annual tax, could continue to wear their beards and dress 
in the traditional Russian costume. 

Only one example of the 1698 beard token survived into the 
twentieth century, and opinion is divided as to whether it is an original, 
a counterfeit, or a piece de fantaisie. From this fact it is evident that 
the 1698 project of issuing beard tokens did not materialize. Further- 
more, a decree of 16 January 1705 took up the problem again, and in 
detail. It specifically provided that tokens were to be issued as receipts 
to persons who paid a beard tax. This circumstance proves by infer- 
ence that the use of tokens, although envisaged in 1698, had not been 
undertaken officially at that time. 

In pursuance of the 1705 ukase a considerable number of copper 
tokens was struck and put to use, and these are the beard tokens that 
have come down to us. Forty years ago they were still relatively 
common, but now they have become quite scarce. 

The 1705 ukase was the high point of the czar's campaign to make 
his subjects look like westerners. It prescribed that "persons of every 
class, except priests and deacons" should shave, but that those who 
did not want to shave should pay an annual tax ranging from 30 to 
100 rubles, for the various classes of nobles, landowners and officials. 
A flat rate of 2 dengi (one kopeck) per beard was established for 
peasants ; the peasants' tax presumably was to be paid by their masters. 


One judges that, as a practical matter, peasants would hardly be 
required to discard their homespuns for foppish and expensive western 
clothing, but the upper classes were obliged to dress "in the German 
fashion." The law provided for check-points at the entrance to towns, 
where officials would deny passage to any bearded person who could 
not produce a beard token. In addition, law enforcement agencies 
were enjoined to arrest and fine bewhiskered individuals on sight if 
they carried no beard license. 

For almost ten years after this burst of bureaucratic zeal no 
mention was made of the beard tax in the official documents that have 
come down to the present. Not until 1714 did the subject reappear; 
a ukase of that year and others of 1722 and 1723 give evidence that 
this unpopular law was being widely flouted. In any case, no beard 
tokens were struck between 1705 and 1724. Thus their use as an 
annual tax receipt must have come to an end very soon alter 1705, 
and one wonders how uniformly the tax itself was collected during 
those years. 

A new ukase reopened the matter in 1724 in relation to the 
Raskolniki, a sect of Old Believers or Orthodox Christians who did not 
belong to the Established Church in Russia. The Raskolniki were the 
most passionate opponents of the beard law; they were under various 
other restrictions because of their faith, and the somewhat arbitrary 
injunction against beards seemed to them to be a symbol of all their 
tribulations. (The Jews of Eastern Europe were little affected by the 
beard tax, since the provinces where most of them lived were then 
part of Poland.) The 1724 ukase also freed the peasants from the 
necessity of shaving or being taxed; and it further directed that inquiry 
be made as the practicality of issuing "free tokens" metal passes to 
be issued to certain classes of persons, entitling the bearded bearers 
to go about their business for life without being molested. 

A pattern piece was struck in 1724 in a new design on a square 
planchet, and in 1725 some 2,600 of the new square beard tokens were 
prepared. Whether these were to be "free tokens" or simply a new- 
style of beard tokens is not known. In any case, they were not used, 
and in 1728 almost all of them were melted down and the copper 
used to coin ordinary kopeck pieces. In the same year (1728) the tax 
rate on beards was set at a uniform rate of 50 rubles a year for all 
those taxed. 

Twenty-four years later, long after Czar Peter's death, a ukase 
was issued by the Empress Elizabeth concerning the vexatious and 
long-mooted question of western dress and enforced shaving. After 
frankly admitting the failure of the project, it referred the whole matter 
to the Holy Synod for consideration. That dignified body must have 
hardly thought the subject a live one, for ten more years elapsed before, 
in 1762, the Raskolniki were left free to cultivate their beards and 
wear their archaic clothes with the full sanction of the law. This 
handsome though belated admission of the beard tax law's unworkability 
was confirmed two years later, and the matter which had ceased to 
be a real issue decades before was laid aside for good. By that time 
(1764) the more enlightened or at least the more westernized of the 
city dwellers had at any rate conformed, while the remaining 95 per 
cent of the people could look on the experiment with detached tolerance. 



The first beard token is the one which apparently was struck as 
a pattern in 1698. The obverse bears the legend: C3rO/TOA* (207th 
Year) in two lines, within a circle of large pearls. The reverse has the 
legend: (AjEHFH / (B)3AThI (Money Taken) above a conventionalized 
moustache, lips and beard, all within & circle of large pearls. The edge 
is smooth. (Figure 1) The date C3 (207 in Church-Slavonic characters) 
refers to the 7207th year after Creation or 1698 A.D. 

Only one specimen of this beard token is known. It was first 
described by Baron de Chaudoir in his early standard work, "Apercu 
sur les Monnaies Russes . . published in 1836, and later by Schubert 
in "Monnaies Russes des Derniers Trois Siecles" which was published 
in 1857. Both authors illustrate the piece, which is struck on a thin 
flan and somewhat off center. This apparently unique token was first 
known in the collection of Academician Krug of St. Petersburg; it 
passed with his collection to the Academy of Sciences and from there 
to the Hermitage Collection where it still reposed 40 years ago. Whether 
it has survived two wars and a revolution is unknown, as numismatics 
no less than hybrid corn is a subject on which Soviet savants are not 
allowed to correspond with their western confreres. 

The provenance of this piece, as far as it can be traced, throws 
no light on whether it is an official and genuine product of the Mint. 
Neither Chaudoir nor Schubert was very discriminating, and both 
accepted pieces since proven to be false. The majority of latter-day 
opinion is that the piece, although crude, is of a style contemporary 
with its date, and that it could equally possibly be genuine or bogus. 
The fact that the ukase of 1698 provided for the manufacture of such 
tokens makes it entirely possible that the piece is legitimate. If it is 
genuine, it should probably be taken as a pattern, since there is no 
trace of the 50,000 pieces provided for by the ukase. 


The second beard token, issued in 1705, is the only one of which 
present day collectors have a reasonable chance of acquiring an original. 
The obverse has, above, a crowned double-headed eagle with scepter 
and orb; and below, the legend: /JV^TE/ TQ4f5 (1705 Year), all within 
a circular wreath of small laurel leaves. The reverse has, above, the 
legend: /lEHFH/BiATbl (Money Taken), and below, a nose, mous- 
tache, lips and beard, all within a circular wreath of small laurel leaves. 
To the left or lower left on the reverse appears a small oval counter- 
stamp with a double-headed eagle. The edge is smooth'. 

There are two dies for the obverse and two for the reverse; the 
earliest pair (Figure 2) is very rare, while the other (Figure 3) is 
much more common. There appear to be no mulings. A variety of the 
reverse of Figure 3 has the last letter in the date XXTVJ/E broken, giving 
it a blotted appearance jr. 

Documentary evidence concerning the purpose of the small counter- 
mark is lacking. It is possible that the punch-mark was applied at the 
time the individual beard token was handed to the taxpayer, in order 
to avoid a traffic in tokens by venal officials. There are four counter- 
mark dies, and no meaningful correlation can be established between 
them and the two reverse dies of the token. A single example of the 
rare early variety of the 1705 token without the usual countermark 



was in the collection of Count I I Tolstoy. This piece was in new 
condition, and since the dies show no sign of rust - the tell-tale 
indication of a restrike it must be assumed that the piece was 
contemporary and genuine. It is the only known specimen of its kind. 


The third, square, beard token exists in the original with the dates 
1724 and 1725. The type of the 1724 piece - a unique pattern -is: 
obverse, legend in four lines:C6OPOAbI/nOUIAMHA/B351TA/lT24< 
(Tax Taken on the Beard 1724), with a four-sided double border of 
floral design. The reverse has a similar border but the field is blank. 
The edge is lettered: *BOPO/OA*H3AM/IUHAA.*TA/rOCTb - 
(free translation: Extra Tax on the Beard). (Figure 4). 

The 1725 piece is similar; the reverse has a simpler border (Figure 
5), and the edge inscription is different: BopoAA/Awiub/HAAiiTA/romA 
The letters of the edge inscription are not of uniform size; some, as 
.shown, are almost twice the size of the remainder. The 1725 beard token 
was struck for use ; 2600 pieces were made, but all but a few were melted 
down in 1728. The surviving examples are extremely rare. 


As is the case with most scarce Russian Imperial coins, novodels 
have been made of the 1705 and 1725 beard tokens. (The term novodel 
has a double meaning. It is applied not only to restrikes made from 
original dies but also to pieces officially struck from imitations of the 
original dies prepared by the Mint. Thus a novodel may be either a 
latter-day restrike or a latter-day imitation, but in both cases it is a 
product of the Mint. While novodels are not as desirable as originals, 
they have a legitimate place in Russian numismatics and they are 
popular, perhaps because of their attractive appearance in comparison 
to the usually worn originals of the earlier series.) No restrikes of 
beard tokens are known to have been made from the original dies. 
The novodels are from dies made especially for the purpose. 

Of the 1705 type, one obverse and two reverse dies of later 
manufacture are known; the obverse and one of the reverse dies 
are illustrated in Figure 6. The style of the eagle on the obverse and 
the spacing of the letters of the legend on the reverse readily dis- 
tinguish the novodels from the originals. In addition, the small counter- 
mark that invariably (with one exception to prove the rule) appears 
on the reverse of the originals is almost always lacking on the novodels. 
On the very lew novodels that are countermarked, the countermark 
punch can also be distinguished as a copy and not an original. 

Of the 1705 tokens, novodels are known in silver and copper; 
those struck in silver are the rarer. Chaudoir referred to one struck in 
gold, but the later literature has never mentioned this possible rarity, 
which more likely was simply a gilt piece. 

3r * -X- * -# 

Three types of novodels of the 1725 beard token are known. The 
first, which is the oldest and by far the rarest, closely resembles the 
original. The spacing of the letters of the legend, however, differs 
enough to make it easily distinguishable. The word B35ITA and the 
more closely spaced date of the novodel are the principal differences. 
(Figure 7) The edge inscription consists of letters all of even size, 
unlike those of the original. 


The second 1725 novodel (Figure 8) is generally similar to the first, 
but with the word HOIIIAMHA much more widely spaced, and the orna- 
mented frame on the reverse like that of the 1724 original rather than 
that of the 1725 original. It has an edge inscription. 

The third of this series of novodels (Figure 9) closely resembles 
the second, except that it has a smooth, unlettered edge. The setting 
of the legend varies slightly from that of the second. 

The three varieties just described have been treated in descending 
order of rarity; none is common. A single example of the third variety 
has been reported in silver, instead of copper. 

% tt -X- 

Apart from official imitations (novodels) which are entirely legiti- 
mate as such, there are innumerable counterfeits of the 1705 round 
beard token, although none is known of the 1724 and 1725 square 
tokens. The great majority of the counterfeits, if not all, were made 
to deceive coin collectors rather than Peter's tax collectors. Many of 
these false pieces are struck from dies, some are cast or galvanos, and 
a few are engraved by hand, but there are few, if any, that are 
sufficiently well executed to pass muster by comparison with good 
illustrations of the originals or novodels. 


An article by S. I. Chizhov in Vol. Ill of the Works of the Moscow 
Numismatic Society, published in 1905, is the most authoritative and complete 
treatment of the subject that I have found. It is the basis for this shorter 
article, and the illustrations are taken from Chizhov' s plates, which also 
depict several counterfeits. Gleb A Popoff, a learned American specialist in 
Russian numismatics, wrote an interesting and comprehensive vignette on 
beard tokens in the December 1945 Numismatist. The two early authors, 
Chaudoir and Sjhubert, as mentioned in the body of the article, described 
the beard tokens in their comprehensive works. In Vol. 7 of the Numismatic 
Chronicle (published in England) for 1845 there is an article on the subject 
by Walter Hawkins. 




Joseph P. Reich 

Some time ago a member of our club showed me a small collection of coins 
which a soldier had brought over from Germany. It was not a very spectacular 
collection, the coins are not very pretty, some are even very ugly. However, 
the collection is a document of German numismatic history and particularly of 
the monetary misery (Muenzelend) that reigned in Germany in the Middle 
Ages and far into the modern time. 

The whole lot belonged to one family, the counts and later princes of 
Hohenlohe. The Hohenlohes are an old family of southern Germany, known 
since the thirteenth century, which has brought forth statesmen, soldiers, 
writers, princes of the Church, and has even given an Imperial Chancellor to 
Germany during the reign of Emperor William II. The family divided itself 
into several branches, one Catholic, Hohenlohe-Waldenburg, a member of 
which was a bishop of Breslau in the eighteenth century, the other protestant, 
Hohenlohe-Langenburg, to which our collection belongs. 

Now the question will possibly arise how such a single family came to 
strike coins. This question and its answer gives the clue to the understanding 
of what I called the monetary misery of the old German Empire or more 
correctly of the "Holy Roman Empire of German Nation." Under the power- 
ful Charlemagne at the end of the eighth and beginning of the ninth centuries 
of our era, coinage had been the exclusive privilege of the Emperor. In the 
course of time, in the same measure as the imperial power decreased and that 
of the great vassals, the Dukes of the Empire, increased, the Emperor had to 
give up this exclusive privilege and to grant the right of coinage to these great 
barons. These, on their part, granted it to their liegemen, other members of 
the Empire, both ecclesiastic and secular, obtained the same right, and with 
the time the number of princes, both great and small, of archbisdoms, bisdoms, 
monasteries, and cities that enjoyed the right of coinage, became terrific. 
When one casts a glance at the maps of Germany in the 16th and 17th cen- 
turies, one can make an approximate picture of the divisions and subdivisions 
of the Empire; and all these big, small and atomic parts struck coins. One 
has estimated that there were about 1800 coining powers, or as they were 
called "coining estates" (Muenzstaende) in Germany. One of them was the 
Hohenlohes. The area of their county was about 700 square miles, only a little 
more than half the area of Rhode Island, with a number of inhabitants the 
seventh part of those of that State. 

It is easy to understand what inconveniences this incredible number of 
different monetary systems, in a comparatively small area as Germany was, 
brought to its inhabitants. Traveling must have been a torture with different 
sorts of money of different rates of exchange every few hours. Much more 
important, however, were the disadvantages that trade suffered from this con- 
fusion and that I need not expound more fully. This would have been so if 
people had been angels. However, human greed and avarice have never in this 
world stopped at the boundaries of social classes or different creeds. Thus, 
whoever was able to do so, tried to enrich himself at the cost of his fellow men, 
from the little cheat who clipped coins or bought up heavier coins of inferior 
quality, up to the prince who fraudulently struck coins of inferior fineness or 
even, as a real forger, struck coins of the types of those of neighboring princes, 
but of baser quality. They did not care that they cheated their own subjects, 
who were forced to take these inferior coins at face value. 

Our friends, the Hohenlohes, were certainly not better than most of their 
princely colleagues. We have evidence of it from the time when the monetary 
misery reached its culmination. The unwholesome conditions I have in short 
described were bound to lead to a catastrophe, and catastrophe broke loose 
over Germany in the first years of the Thirty Years War, from about 1619 to 


1623. This was the time of the so-called "Kippers" and "Wippers," one of the 
most gigantic inflations in history., The name refers to those who either 
clipped the coins or separated the heavy from the light coins in order to melt 
the former. For this was the fundamental principle: the good old money was 
fraudulently replaced by new money with diminished contents of the more 
valuable metal, silver. 

I told you that this had been done for a long time. However, it had been 
done stealthily with full consciousness of the fraud. Now it became, so-to-say, 
an official activity, particularly of the governments with its detrimental conse- 
quences for the material and moral condition of the governed. The princes set 
the example; they either struck enormous amounts of coins which fell behind 
of their face values by adding copper and diminishing the contents of silver 
until at last the so-called silver coins in fact were copper coins with a thin 
coating of silver, which soon wore away. Or they chose the easier and more 
lucrative way of leasing their mints to private corporations, which had to pay 
them a high percentage of their gains. These corporations, which of course 
worked for their own benefit, did so by more and more deteriorating the coins. 
What in this way became of the good old coins one can see by looking at a 
few examples of these kipper coins. One hardly understands that these princes 
were not ashamed of having their names and portraits put on these carica- 
tures of coins. Some of them seem in fact to have felt some shame; there are 
at least quite a number of coins which do not bear the princely names and 
likenesses. Instead, one finds beautiful mottoes such as "always for the coun- 
try" or "to God the honor" or "fear God and the Duke," proofs of the well 
known fact that knavery frequently tries to hide under the cloak of patriotism 
and piety. 

Almost all members of the Holy Roman Empire took part in the forgery, 
the mightiest princes as well as small rulers over a few square miles, large and 
small towns, laicy rulers as well as members of the clergy. The Hohenlohes I 
found particularly mentioned as leasing ten mints in their small country for 
striking bad money. Edicts of the highest authority, the Emperor, were of no 
avail. They could not, for in the most scandalous manner the Emperor him- 
self was one of the worst kippers and struck in his own hereditary countries 
coins that were as bad as any in the Empire. 

These were the main actors. But what about the common people, those 
who became the real victims of the criminal activities of their rulers? Did 
they protest against or resist the abuses committed at their expense? On the 
contrary. It is true there were farsighted men who recognized the disastrous 
consequences of the adventurous financial policy and condemned it from the 
pulpits, in learned essays and satirical pamphlets. Their voices, however, were 
drowned in the general madness. It was like a new dance around the golden 
calf with the only exception that the calf was not of gold, hardly of silver, but 
for the greatest part of copper. The hunger for gain and the erroneous belief 
that one could become rich without any exertion, prevailed. People took their 
valuables, old heavy coins as well as family heirlooms, to the mints and in 
exchange received large amounts of new shining coins, which looked like the 
old coins and bore the same values printed on their surfaces, without knowing 
or understanding that their intrinsic value was only a small fraction of that of 
the old ones. 

When the steadily increasing use of copper in striking silver coins created 
greater need for copper, they brought whatever copper they had, household 
vessels, even church bells and baptismal fonts and again received much money 
in exchange. So everybody became rich overnight. However, what did these 
riches avail them! I have lived through the inflation in Germany. At that 
time we too were immeasurably rich; we were billionaires and thousand-fold 
billionaires. However, what could we buy for a billion? Maybe a pair of hot 
dogs. It would happen that the cords which held a bundle of billion mark bills 
together, were more valuable than all they enclosed. So we were not deceived 
about the real value of our monetary fortunes and realized that we were 
driving toward the abyss. 

I have mentioned the disastrous effect which the monetary crisis had on 
the morals of the people. There were men who recognized that making money 
was a lucrative business itself; so they opened their own private mints and 
enjoyed the easy gain. Speculation and usury flourished. As the author of an 
anonymous pamphlet put it, "the physicians desert their patients and think of 


usury more than of Hippocrates and Galen; the jurists forget their acts hane 

more SSSt** - *"* ^l?"* **** Up US ^' otherschoTalf study arithmetiS 
more than thetonc and philosophy." 

r Ot U P the W h<>le people. The 

t drove toward the inescapable crash. Gradually the 

m ^I 6 We ^ e pened to the course which the events took. 
depe *5 ed n fixed salaries * n <i got them paid in new and 
whn h* i,t y ^ er the fim t0 realize what was happening. The creditors 
t nt TP ? money were repaid by the cheerful debtors with enor- 
T pr i?^ es at last Defused to accept taxes in the money they had 
,r ^ riC v S r f e t0 di2Zy hei ^ts. Now > instead of enthusiasm 

extravagance, blackest despair reigned in the country. It was too late. 

nmv ^r\ '^ SS f? lt ^ n hated P ersons > who were considered the real 
guilty (characteristically these were mainly the smaller sinners) did not im- 
prove conditions There was only one remedy: a complete devaluation which 
was pronounced by an Imperial edict made an end to the imagined riches and 
ruined innumerable existences. German economy needed a long time to re- 
cover. Very gradually one began to strike better and more honest money One 
can see it by looking at the later coins of the Hohenlohes. The last in our 
small collection have some historic interest; they were struck in 1717 and 
according to their legends, commemorate the second centennial of the Refor- 
mation. Let us hope that the religious zeal of the later members of the family 
has at least for a part made up for the monetary since of their ancestors 


Stepard Pond 

"A name g-iven in jest to the double thaler struck under the German 
monetary union from 1838 to 1871 because a bottle of champagne then 
cost two thalers." (Trans, from von Schrotter's Worterbuch der 
Mtinzkunde, Berlin, 1930.) 

To Americans who know that under our coinage system each silver dollar 
must contain a certain number of grains of fine silver, thus establishing It 
as an individual unit of weight in a monetary sense, it may come as a sur- 
prise to learn that until the creation of the German Empire in 1871 the 
customary German practice was to coin a given number of pieces from a 
recognized weight of fine silver, which made the coin a division of a weignt 
unit instead of a unit in itself. 

For centuries the mark one half of a pound had been a universally 
recognized standard in Europe for weighing the precious metals. But, as 
often happens over long- periods of time, weights and measures come to vary 
from their original standards, so that eventually a number of different 
marks, varying slightly as to weight, had become legalized in different parts 
of Germany. 

As a result of this and the different divisions of these marks into coins 
tne monetary systems of the numerous German states offer, prior to tne 
imperial currency unification following the Franco-Prussian War, a com- 
plicated and patience-trying study to present-day numismatists. That these 
conditions were a great handicap to commerce is evidenced by the successive 
monetary conventions that gradually simplified currency relationships until 
the eventual unification. The subject of this article is a distinctive coin 
authorized by one of the last such conventions. 

After the great European readjustments following the Napoleonic wars of 
Germany, barring Austria and several minor states, had settled down to one 
of two monetary systems; in the north that based on the thaler of Prussia, 
then decidedly the dominant northern power, and in the south that of th.e 

Under the conventions of 1837 and 1838, which authorized the issuance 
of our piece, the mark adopted as the convention standard was tne Prussian 


mark, which equalled 233.812 grammes, or 3609 grains. From this mark 
of fine silver were to be struck 14 thalers for the northern states and 24% 
gulden for the southern, establishing a ratio of 4 thalers to 7 gulden. The 
Prussian thaler struck on the surprisingly low standard for a great state of 
.750 fine silver was worth slightly over 69 cents United States money of 
that time; the South German gulden, .900 fine, nearly equalled 42 cents. 

To provide a coin of common denomination which would be recognized 
and accepted throughout the monetary union and which would facilitate 
commerce a large silver piece was authorized. It was to pass equally for 
2 thalers or 3 ^ gulden. Both denominations were shown on the reverse 
of the coin, together with its silver fineness (.900), the word "VEREINS 
MUNZE" (in English, coinage of the monetary union) and the date. The 
obverse bore the head of the sovereign or the arms of the issuing country 
and appropriate legends. These broad and well struck coins offer an inter- 
esting portrait series of mid-nineteenth-century German rulers. 

This double thaler, coined by most, if not all, of the contracting states 
on the basis of seven to a mark of fine silver became very popular. It was 
struck in great numbers and circulated widely even after the currency uni- 
fication following on the formation of the German Empire. As the mone- 
tary unit of the empire, the "mark" (a new coin, not a weight), was exactly 
one-third of the old Prussian thaler, our coin then passed for 6 marks. 

Double Thaler of Frederick William IV of Prussia, 1844. 

The price of a bottle of champagne in the Germany of one hundred years 
ago being usually two thalers, our piece soon acquired the nickname of 
"Champagne Thaler." In the case of the Prussian double thaler of Fred- 
erick William IV (see illustration), we have the curious coincidence that 
this unfortunate monarch who died demented under the regency of his 
brother, later William I of the German Empire, was said to have been a 
champagne addict, with the result that he was nicknamed "Le roi Cliquot/' 
an unusual combination of names for King and coin alike the appropriate^ 
ness of which it would be hard to duplicate! 

Germany Operates Six Mints 

The Republic of Germany operates six mints, or at least six different 
mint marks appear on the current (1929) coins, including the commem- 
orative issues. These mint marks are: A, Berlin; D, Munich; E, Mulden- 
hutten in Saxony; F, Stuttgart; G, Karlsruhe; I, Hamburg. "Germany 
Operates Six Mints," The Numismatist, October, 1929. 



Michael M. Dolnick 

Ludwig I, king of Bavaria from 
1825 to 1848, was a student of the 
classics and contemporary poetry. 
As a patron of the arts he proved 
himself as great as any who had 
ever occupied a German throne. 
To him Munich owes her finest art 
collections and remarkable buildings. 

The commemorative thaler of 
1828 was one of 38 commemorative 
coins issued under Ludwig I. All 
of these commemoratives of con- 
ventional thaler denomination until 
1837 and two thalers after that date 
were designed by Carl Friedrich 
Voigt, engraver for the Munich mint. 

The reverse of the Segen des 
Himmels or "Blessings of Heaven" 
thaler, depicts the queen and her 
eight children. Reading clockwise 
the children are Crown Prince Maxi- 
milian, age 17; Mathilde, age 15; 
Adelgunde, age 5; Hildegarde, age 
3; Alexandra, age 2; Adalbert, age 
1; Luitpold, age 7; and Otto, age 13. 
Queen Therese had one other child, 
Theodelinde, who died in 1816 at 
the age of six months. 

It should be interesting to follow 
the history of the nine persons ap- 
pearing on this coin, and much of 
the article that follows is devoted 
to brief sketches which highlight 
their careers. 

Ludwig I, who spent huge sums 
for the construction of beautiful 
buildings and the purchase of ar- 
tistic treasures, was extremely cau- 
tious about expenditures for his 
personal needs and those of his 
family. Often the king could be 
seen in threadbare clothes, and it 
was common gossip that the royal 
family ate black bread at the palace. 

In spite of the black bread, the 
royal family on this coin looks 
healthy and well fed. Queen Therese 
of Saxe-Hilburghausen was 36 in 
1828 and as can be seen from the 
coin, a most attractive woman. 
When she married Ludwig in 1810 
she was reputed to be one of the 
most beautiful princesses in Europe. 
Ludwig I had an eye for beautiful 
women and collected their portraits 
as well as miscellaneous works of 
art. He gave munificently to charity 


but was sparing with, his mistresses. 
The slogan "diamonds are a girl's 
best friend" had not yet become 

the regency of their uncle Luitppld 
who appears on the Segen des Him- 
mels thaler as a child of seven. It 

(Davenport No. 563) 

Maximilian II 
(Davenport No. 608) 

universally accepted and the girls 
had to be content with an occasional 
statuette, a vase recently unearthed 
in Greece or their sovereign's verses. 
Verses were plentiful and cheap. 
Queen Therese died in 1854 at the 
age of 62. Ludwig was then 68, no 
longer king, but still most active 
and a patron of the arts. 

Maximilian succeeded his father 
in 1848 after Ludwig I was forced 
to abdicate because of the public 
scandal associated with Ludwig' s 
infatuation with Lola Montez, an 
Irish dancer and adventuress. In 
view of the circumstances under 
which Ludwig abdicated it seems 
strange that this event was com- 
memorated by the issuance of a 
two thaler coin in 1848 showing 
Ludwig handing the crown to his 
son, Maximilian, on March 20, 1848. 
This coin (Davenport 597) is quite 

King Maximilian II issued five 
additional commemorative crowns 
during his reign and also appeared 
on another coin in 1842 at the time 
of his marriage to Marie, princess 
of Prussia (Davenport 588). 

The two thaler coin of 1861-1864 
(Davenport 608) depicts Maximilian 
as a handsome king in his early 
fifties. He died in 1864 at the age 
of 53. 

Maximilian's two sons, Ludwig 
II, the mad king of Bavaria, and 
Otto, also insane, both ruled under 

is interesting to note that more 
than 20 members of the Wittelsbach 
family (the Bavarian royal line) 
had been insane during the last 100 
years of their rule. In the 13th 
century the Wittelsbachs fell into 
the habit of marrying Habsburgs, 
a custom which was continued until 
the rule of the Wittelsbachs came 
to an end in 1918 after 1000 years 
of power. 

Mathilde was married in 1833 at 
the age of 20 to Ludwig III, grand 
duke of Hesse-Darmstadt. She died 
in 1862 at 49 and apparently was 
never portrayed on any coin after 
her appearance on the Segen des 
Himmels thaler. 

Adelgunde became the wife of 
Francis V, duke of Modena, in 1842 
when she was 19. She held the title 
of duchess of Modena for 13 years 
from 1846 to 1859, but during most 
of this period the reactionary duke 
had to rely on Austrian assistance 
to keep his power. In 1859, the 
Piedmontese army won a victory 
over the Austrians and the duke 
lost his throne. He spent the re- 
mainder of his life in retirement in 
Austria. Probably, Adelgunde's only 
appearance on a coin was on the 
1828 thaler in which she shared 
billing with her brothers and sisters. 

Hildegarde, the three-year old 
child on the 1828 coin, married 
Albert, archduke of Austria in 1844 
when she was 19. Her husband be- 


came very well known as an army 
leader and writer. Hildegarde made 
no further appearance on coinage 
and died in 1864 at the youthful 
age of 39. 

Very little information about Alex- 
andra is available. She died in ob- 
scurity in 1875 at the age of 49. 

Adalbert, the baby, was married 
in 1856 at the age of 28 to Amelia 
of Spain who outlived her husband 
by 30 years. He died in 1875 at 
the age of 47. 

Luitpold, the seven-year-old boy 
with the long hair which gives him 
a feminine appearance, appears on 
Bavarian coins many years later as 
prince regent. This familiar portrait 
on the series of 1911 (Davenport 
619) and also on the postage stamps 
of the period indicates that Luitpold 
still retained his flowing hair but 
shifted the location to his chin. 
Luitpold died in 1912 at the age of 
92, a beloved figure and capable 
administrator, known for his tact 
and personal charm. In 1844 when 
23 he married Augusta of Tuscany, 
an attractive brunette who bore 
him four children. Augusta died in 
1864 at the age of 39. When he 
became regent in 1886 to rule for 
his insane nephews, Germany had 
already been molded into an empire 
under Bismarck. Bavaria, however, 
was accorded special privileges in 
the so-called Bavarian clause of the 
constitution and was allowed to 
issue her own stamps and coins. 

(Davenport No. 619) 

Otto, the second son of Ludwig I 
had an interesting career, much of 
which can be traced through coin- 

age of the period. In 1832, while 
not yet 18, Otto was chosen by the 
conference of London to occupy the 
newly created throne of Greece. A 
commemorative thaler was issued 
in 1832 to honor this event (Daven- 
port 568). 

The separation of Otto from his 
family afforded another opportunity 
for Ludwig to construct a monu- 
ment. In 1835 a commemorative 
thaler was issued depicting a monu- 
ment erected on the separation of 
Queen Therese from her son, King 
Otto of Greece (Davenport 575). 
Again in 1836, Otto's departure from 
his fatherland was commemorated 
by the construction of a new chapel, 
and an attractive coin of 1836 por- 
trays this chapel erected at Kiefers- 
felden (Davenport 579). 

The first Greek coin with Otto's 
portrait is a silver 5 drachmai 
(Davenport 115) issued in 1833 and 
again in 1844, 1845 and 1846. This 
coin was also designed by Voigt of 
the Bavarian mint, who in 1828 
portrayed Otto as a boy of 13 on 
the Segen des Himmels thaler. 

Because of his father's reputation 
as a great Hellenist, Otto's selection 
was very popular with the Greeks 
and he was looked upon as a deliv- 
erer. He arrived in Greece accom- 
panied by a council of regency 
composed of Bavarians and, when 
he came of age in 1835, was advised 
by his father to retain a Bavarian 
as chancellor of state. The Greeks 

(Davenport No. 115) 

became more heavily taxed than 
under Turkish rule. As one his- 
torian aptly stated it, "They had 


exchanged government by the sword 
which they understood for govern- 
ment by office regulations which 
they hated." Otto was well inten- 
tioned, honest and inspired with a 
genuine affection for his adopted 
country, but it needed more than 
sincerity to reconcile the Greeks to 
his rule. His power rested wholly 
on the force of Bavarian troops, and 
when these troops were withdrawn 
in 1843, he was forced to grant a 
constitution and to appoint a min- 
istry of native Greeks. To add to 
his difficulties, Otto's queen, the 
former Amalia of Oldenbergj was 
most unpopular. 

A 5 drachma! Greek coin of 1851 
shows a more serious Otto wearing 
a mustache and looking much older 
than his 36 years. Perhaps his 
serious demeanor foretold of the 
troubled years ahead (Davenport 

In 1862, while Otto was at sea, 

a provisional government was set 
up and a national convention sum- 
moned. Instead of returning to 
Greece, Otto and his queen went 
to Bavaria and never returned. Otto 
died five years later in 1867 at the 
age of 52. 

Ludwig I lived until 1868, one 
year after Otto's death. Of the 
nine members of Ludwig I's family 
on the reverse of the Segen des 
Himmels thaler, Ludwig outlived 
five. He survived Therese, Mathilde, 
Hildegarde, Maximilian and Otto. 
He even outlived Lola Montez, the 
woman in his life most often associ- 
ated with his name. 

Numismatists who encounter any 
of the 38 beautiful commemorative 
coins of Ludwig I may be grateful 
to the grand old man of Bavarian 
art and culture. Completion of the 
Bavarian series of this period is a 
worthwhile objective for the crown 


Dudley Butler 

Our coin collector received in his morning mail the catalog of a coin 
sale. He opened it eagerly to see if it contained any items of his pet 
series, the coins of Principalities and Bishoprics. His eye travelled down 
the long list of items and lighted upon lot 127 : ''Augsburg 1600. Por- 
trait. Reverse, Arms. Good." He was thoroughly familiar with the 
piece. The portrait of the ruler, holding a great sword, and on the 
reverse the simple and dignified pine cone, the arms of Augsburg. 

Here is a collector to whom a coin is not only a treasured possession, 
but also a living symbol of the place where it was struck. His imagina- 
tion loves to flash back to the history he has read of the various Princi- 
palities whose names appear on the coins. To him they are not merely 
shadowy titles, but as real as the city in which he lives. To him every 
one of these cities has a special personality. The appearance and 
personality of their rnlers are as real to him as the appearance and 
personality of the mayor of his own town, and the citizens are as 
familiar to Mm as his own neighbors. Like Miniver Cheevy, he 

". . . loved the days of old 

When swords were bright and steeds were prancing." 

" Augsburg 1600. Portrait." The words are a bell that summons his 


The portrait, the ruler of Augsburg, comes to life, steps down from the 
coin, and invites him to join him in a walk through the city. They walk 
along the main street, which in 1600 was undoubtedly the most beautiful 
in all Europe. In the morning sun the copper roofs and in those days 
only Augsburg houses could boast of copper roofs shone brightly. 
The front doors of most of the houses are open, inviting passersby to 
look in and admire the beautifully polished brass and copper treasures, 
the sideboards with rows upon rows of costly pewter. And there, on a 
hill overlooking the city, is the magnificent mansion of the Fugger 
family, one of the largest and most powerful financial houses in Europe. 
Beyond the residential districts he sees great numbers of armourer's 
workshops, proudly producing the finest armour and weapons in all 
Europe. Toledo alone could compete with them. Here too are made 
the finest wheel-lock pistols. Here are manufactured elaborate iron 
bound treasure chests stamped with the armourer's mark, which^ cor- 
responds to the " sterling' 7 on silver. No one would dream of having a 
strong box that did not bear the mark of an Augsburg maker. 

The ruler of Augsburg was a practical and progressive man, very 
proud of the " modern conveniences" he planned for the happiness and 
comfort of his people. He was proudest of all of his city 's water supply 
and explained to our Mr. Coin Collector that it was indeed unequalled 
in all Europe. Truly a progressive ruler. Truly a beautiful and progres- 
sive and economically sound Augsburg, this principality of more than 
three centuries ago. 

Mr. Coin Collector's eye travels still further down the dealer's list. 
Oh yes ! Vim. He has a specimen of the coinage of that city also. And 
suppose that as at Augsburg the ruler steps down from his coin and most 
courteously invites him to take a stroll around the city. Can he not hear 
the ruler saying, "Oh yes, as you say, Augsburg has a very fine water 
supply. But do you know that the plans for those very works were 
drawn up here at Vim? The idea was really ours for we make a 
specialty of this kind of thing, in fact we had it before they did. And 
now, my friend, let me take you to the market place where I will show 
you the latest thing in transportation, for we are a progressive people 
and pride ourselves on being up to date. We make a speciality of build- 
ing wagons for the trade. And I must tell you of our latest achieve- 
ment. We have just established a daily wagon service between Augsburg 
and isfuremburg. Just think of that! A daily wagon service for pas- 
sengers and small freight. Why, it is unheard of ; no one has ever given 
such a service before." 

Shortly after this Mr. Coin Collector has an opportunity of walking- 
through Hamburg under the same circumstances as at Augsburg and 
Vim but his experiences during this walk are not so pleasant as in the 
other places. It seemed to him there was a gibbet at every street corner. 
"You see," explains the ruler, "we are very strict with our inhabi- 
tants. The slightest infraction of the law calls for the death penalty. 
But our real specialty," he continues, "is breaking on the wheel After 
a man is 'broken' his body remains chained to the wheel for an i^te&nte 
period as a warning to other evil doers." During his walk Mr. Col- 
lector counts no less than eighty-four of these horrible sights, and so, 


after taking a polite leave of his host, he returns to a further perusal 
of his catalog. 

His eye next lights upon an item from Saxony, and the ruler John- 
George makes him welcome to the beautiful city of Dresden. 

"In the first place, I must show you our armory, 7 ' says John-George; 
<c it is without exception the finest collection of weapons in Europe. We 
take a great interest in ancient weapons, those of the earliest times down 
to the present. It is most interesting to note the gradual improvement 
in weapons, down to our latest 1600 model of the wheel-lock.' 7 

John-George now conducts Mr. Collector to the stables, which seemed 
to him to be endless. "We are great horsemen," continues John-George, 
"and these stables which contain thousands of Saxon horses are superior 
to those you will see anywhere else. But we especially pride ourselves 
on our stables for "foreign" horses, that is to say, those of Arab, English, 
and other breeds, of which we have two hundred and thirty-six. 

For each of these a stall is provided, with a glass window, a red 
blanket, an iron rack, a copper manger, and a brass shower bath. Each 
saddle has a closet of its own. In fact very few of the citizens of the 
town are housed in such luxury or receive such care as do these horses. 

The next item to catch the eye of Mr. Collector is a coin of Regensburg. 
The coins of that city have always been his special favorites. They 
seem to be almost always well "struck up." Models of the die sinker's 
art. Their "city views" were perfect as to detail. He loves the simple 
and dignified arms, the great crossed keys. The portraits of the rulers 
appear to him to be exceptionally fine, and he is overjoyed to find that 
one of these will now step down from his "planehet" and bid him 
welcome. He is greatly surprised at the number of people in the streets 
who are obviously strangers, and inquires of his host the reason for this 
influx. "Oh," replied his guide, "it is a pilgrimage. You see, the 
Shrine of our Lady of Regensburg is a great pilgrim center. In fact it 
is a matter of record that in 1599 the average daily attendance was over 
six hundred, but on some great Saint's days it would run far higher 
than that. Of course to one who we might say was 'pilgrimage minded' 
it does not compare with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land ; but the trip to 
Jerusalem and back requires from a year to eighteen months, so they 
make the best of a substitute. And besides, of those who make the 
Pilgrimage to Jerusalem about thirty per cent never return." Mr. Col- 
lector was also greatly impressed with the great number of huge banners, 
each bearing a portrait of Our Lady of Regensburg, with the arms of 
Regensburg at her feet. 

The final item on the list is a coin of Tubeck, and Mr. Collector has an 
opportunity of seeing that city under the same auspices as the others, 
for by this time almost all the Princely rulers had become old friends of 
his, or at least acquaintances. 

Tubeck, he finds, makes a specialty of elaborate reception for strangers. 
That is to say, if they pay for it. To descend to the vernacular, Tubeck 
is the place to visit if you want to "make whoopee." It has the best 
inns, the best restaurants, beer halls, dance halls and theatrical per- 
formances of any place in Europe. And so, having made a round of the 
"night clubs" with his companion, Mr. Collector decides it is time for 
him to close his coin sale catalog and start for his office. 

Author's note: A very large proportion of the statements made in this 
article is from the letters of Pynes Moryson, written between 1590 and 
1612, who visited all these cities. 



William D. Craig 

P rinci P al ly concerned with the monetary 
are radi annT t ' Electoral > and Royal Saxony, but the data 

are radi annT t > , 

borders of ^^^ ^ ^ in l ges/ ot the other German States. Within the 

th N and South Germa n monetary units existed 


*** ^ ** "^ Cl ^ ly d * monst ^ d than 

sonaM e kn e rfwi^ rOP ^ classifv his coins > th * numismatist must have a rea- 
sonable knowledge of the monetary system under which they were minted. 
iSSfp ?** G< L rman States w * ich ra rely carry the face value in readily intel- 
oSSf ,. te j ms ' re <iuire more advance information than most in order to be 
attributed correctly. Occasionally one even despairingly doubts if there was 
fi,f y s *? m .. m volved in their manufacture, but actually only one major change, 
the adoption of the large silver crown, occurred between the reign of Bern- 
^ B ' llung ' , when minting operations began in Saxony, and the institution 
Z tlie d ecimal system m 1873. Confusion in classification, therefore, does not 
stem trom the absence of a system, but from the very complexity of that 
system, and from the gradual devaluation of its standard unit. 

I. Origins: 

Charlemagne, borrowing from Rome, was responsible for the original 
German monetary system under which the Duchy of Saxony minted co^ns 
from the 10th through the 15th Centuries: 

240 denars (silver pennies) ...................... 1 ib. of silver 

Hohlpfennig .............................. uniface % denar 

Bracteats, uniface silver coins with so thin a planchet that the obverse 
design carried through onto the reverse, were a direct result of the tendency 
among medieval mintmasters to broaden the denar, while still keeping to its 
original weight. Thus most bracteats were denars. So-called half and quarter 
bracteats are in reality half denars or hohlpfennigs. 

In practice it was discovered however that bracteats did not hold up well 
in circulation, and the necessity for a larger and more substantial denar 
fathered the grossus denarius, gros, groat, and ultimately groschen in the 
14th Century. 

The gold coin of this period was the florin or gold gulden, which was 
heavily minted in the 15th and 16th Centuries. 

II. The Thaler System and Early Standards of Fineness 

Within a short while after the Bohemian Counts of Schlick introduced 
the first thalers, these large silver coins began to dominate the Central Euro- 
pean economic field because of their greater convenience as compared with 
the large silver ingots heretofore used in big commercial transactions. There- 
fore in the latter part of the 15th Century a new system of moneys, based on 
the crown, came into being: 

2 heller ........................ 1 pfennig 

4 pfennig ....................... 1 kreuzer 

2 kreuzer ...................... 1 albus or mariengroschen 

3 kreuzer ...................... 1 (gute) groschen 

4 kreuzer ...................... 1 batze 

3 groschen (9 ker.) ............... 1 Angel groschen or 

12 kreuzer ...................... 1 ortsthaler (1/6 thaler) 

24 kreuzer ...................... dicken (1/3 thaler) 

60 kreuzer ...................... 1 gulden or guldenthaler 

This coin was originally minted as the silver equivalent of the gold florin. 
During the 16th Century it took on the value of 60 kreuzers, and gradually 


became known as 2/3 Reichsthaler. During the 30 Years War, Albertine Saxony 
minted a debased thaler of only 20 groschen (60 kreuzer), which, because of 
the Angels supporting arms on both sides, was called an Angel thaler. 

As the gulden's value approached, and -was finally pegged at 2/3 thaler, 
an odd situation arose in Saxony and other neighboring Central German States. 
The monetary system came to be based on a fictitious unit, the Reichsthaler 
of 72 kreuzers, while in practice the silver content of all the coins in the 
system was related to that of the gulden valued at 2/3 thaler. As a result, 
the North and South German systems began to draw apart since 60 South 
German kreuzer still equaled one gulden, while in North Germany the same 
gulden was now divided into only 48 kreuzer. One and one half gulden or 90 
South German kreuzer equaled the fictitious 24 groschen Reichsthaler. Three 
kreuzer ceased to be a synonym for groschen in North Germany although the 
two coinages continued to be partially interchangeable at the rate of 4 North 
German groschen to 15 South German kreuzer. Below this minimum level in 
subsidiary coinage, confusion reigned. It was rarely possible to exchange the 
smallest coins of one state for those of another. Consequently, since these sub- 
sidiary coins were no longer valuable in foreign exchange, they were almost 
universally replaced by billon and eventually by copper in an effort to con- 
serve silver. This move created two classes of money in each state: Land- 
munze or Scheidemunze which was strictly local in character, and Conven- 
tionsmunze, which was useful in interstate commerce. 

The action which had started this chain of events was innocent enough in 
character. H>uring the latter portion of the 17th Century various of the Ger- 
man States had approached each other with the idea of formulating a common 
monetary standard. They met in 1690, at the Convention of Leipzig, to the 
principles of which the greater part of the Holy Roman Empire eventually 
subscribed, and directed that 18 gulden be struck henceforward from one 
marck of fine silver. Once the gulden had been named primary unit in place 
of the thaler, the subsidiary coinage debacle followed directly. The new gulden, 
tied to the Marck of Cologne (3608 grains), was to contain 200.44 grains of 
pure silver. 

At the Convention of 1753, the "20 gulden" standard was proclaimed, but 
did not actually come into use in Saxony until some 10 years later. This caused 
the 2/3 thaler unit to contain only 180.40 grains of silver. 

The Seven Years War brought about another temporary devaluation of 
the gulden in certain of the Tfturingian Duchies, notably Saalfeld and Hild- 
burghausen, which took up the "25 gulden" standard for a short while. This 
change lessened the gulden's fine silver content to 144.3 grains. Electoral 
Saxony, however, continued on the 20 gulden standard until 1838. 

72 kreuzer (24 groschen) 1 Reichsthaler 

(money of account) 

The silver content of the Reichsthaler, when minted, varied between 12 
and 15 to the marck in proportion to that of the current gulden (Reichs- 
thaler. . . 1% gulden). 

2 gulden 1 Species or Conventionthaler 

The species thaler, an overweight variety of the Reichsthaler, was the 
standard silver coin in Saxony from 1763 until the coinage reform of 1838. 
Ten species thalers equaled 1 marck of fine silver, causing the species thaler 
to weigh 360.80 grains, in contrast to 270.60 for the corresponding, fictitious 
Reichsthaler. This coin was also known as a Profit, Premium, or Kronenthaler, 
according to the purpose for which it was minted, the State which issued it, 
or the design. Profit thalers were usually mining coins, Premium thalers hon- 
ored, or were for the use of special groups (Artists, Manufacturers, etc.), and 
Kronenthalers were so called because they had a crowned sword and sceptre 
design on the reverse. 

4 gulden were the average equivalent of 1 ducat, the ducat being a gold 
coin issued for exchange purposes which gradually replaced the florin or gold 
gulden in German commerce toward the end of the 16th Century. Fractions, 
units, and multiples of the ducat were heavily minted until 1857. 

5 Reichsthaler 1 August d'or or Pistole 

10 ducat 1 Portugaloser 


m. South German and Dresden Conventions 

With the rise of Nationalism, Industry, and Commerce in early 19th Cen- 
tury Germany, the various states were drawn ever closer by commercial ties. 
Progress first manifested itself in a rash of customs unions which were grad- 
ually absorbed by the Prussian sponsored Zollverein, and somewhat later, as 
the need became more evident, in monetary reform. The first outgrowth of 
this need for a common currency was the South German Convention of 1837, 
which set 24% gulden equal to one marck of silver. In the following year, 
1838, all of the states excepting Hannover and her satellites met at Dresden 
in solemn convention and agreed to stabilize the thaler, which was thencefor- 
ward known as the Conventionthaler, at 14 to the marck. This new valuation 
was a death blow to the interchangeability of the gulden and 2/3 thaler, set- 
ting 1% gulden equal to one thaler, and giving the new gulden a weight of 
only 147.2 grains in pure silver as contrasted with the old weight of 180.40. 
The thaler, in proportion, weighed 258.0, being but slightly lighter than the 
old Reichsthaler. 

Acceptance of the provisions of the Dresden Convention also caused Saxony 
to break her new Conventionthaler into 30 parts called neu-groschen instead 
of the old 24. 

10 pfennig 1 neu-groschen 

30 neu-groschen 1 Conventionthaler 

Some of the Thuringian states called the 30th part of one thaler simply 
"1 groschen," while Weimar followed the Prussian example by calling it 
"silbergroschen," and dividing it into 12 pfennig instead of 10. The gulden 
continued to equal 60 kreuzer in South Germany. 

IV. The Vienna Convention of 1857 

As the Zollverein increased in power, and Prussia spread her hegemony 
over the less powerful and more backward states, it was decided to overhaul 
Germany's rather antiquated system of weights and measures. One of the 
first of the old standards replaced was the Cologne Marck, which gave way 
to the Zollpfund or German pound, created equal to 500 grams or 1.1 Ibs. 
avoirdupois. This left the states subscribing to the Dresden Convention, by 
this time including a somewhat more pliable Hannover, no alternative other 
than to hold another monetary convention for the purpose of realigning their 
currencies with the new system of weights. This convention, held at Vienna 
in 1857, directed that 30 new thalers, or Vereinsthalers as they were desig- 
nated, be struck from 1 pfund of fine silver. Inasmuch as an avoirdupois Ib. 
equals 7000 grains, 1 Vereinsthaler weighed 256.5 grains* or a fraction less 
than the Conventionsthaler. The Convention also reduced the Austrian and 
South German gulden proportionately, setting 45 Austrian 100 kreuzer gulden 
or 52% South German 60 kreuzer gulden equal to 30 Vereinsthalers or one 
pfund of pure silver. Thus the states which still based their economy on the 
gulden standard (Meiningen alone among the Thuringian Duchies) were 
obliged to decrease the silver content of thei^ gulden to 146.6 grains. Saxony 
and the other North German States subscribing to the thaler standard did not 
alter the relationship existing between the coins in their system, but merely 
reduced the silver content of the subsidiary coinage in proportion to the reduc- 
tion from Conventionsthaler to Vereinsthaler. 

V. The Decimal System 

The formation of the German Empire in 1871 brought about a new mone- 
tary system based on the silver mark, although the old Landmunze was not 
completely replaced by the new coinage until 1874-75. 

100 pfennig 1 mark 

10 mark 1 krone 

During the transition period the Vereinsthaler was valued at 3 mark for 
exchange purposes. 

The krone, a gold coin, 139% of which were struck from one pfund of 
pure gold, was created at the Vienna Convention of 1857 to replace the ducat, 
and thus preceded the above system by a number of years. 

Saxony ceased independent coinage at the fall of the Kingdom in 1918 
with the exception of various "Notgeld" issues of a semi-oflicial nature struck 
as late as 1923. 





Charles E. Weber 

The development of the taler in Germany is one of the most inter- 
esting chapters in monetary history, especially to us Americans, whose 
monetary unit since the eighteenth century has been a coin derived from 
and named after the taler. The history of the development of this coin in 
Germany is a long one, for it covers more than four centuries. At the 
same time, it is a fairly complicated evolution, but by following it we 
can gain an insight into the whole complicated monetary history of the 
German states since the end of the fifteenth century. The taler, together 
with its derivatives, is the most important coin of modern times and at 
the same time the oldest coin of which an immediate derivative is still 
being minted, with the exception of the ducat, which is exactly seven 
centuries old this year ( 1252-1952 ). 1 The invention of printing by mov- 
able type and the invention of the taler are certainly the two greatest 
technical gifts of the German mind to the world in the fifteenth century. 

Up until the fourteenth century, the German princes struck no gold 
coins (with the exception of the augustales, which were not struck in 
Germany, but rather in Southern Italy after 1231). There is, however, 
philological evidence which indicates that gold solidi circulated in Ger- 
many in very early times. The Lay of Hildebrand, recorded about 820 
A.D., employs the word cheisuring? which presumably refers to the 
Imperial Roman or Byzantine solidi. In any event, the later medieval 
German word for gold coin is, significantly enough, bisant. Throughout 
the earlier middle ages, the German issues were confined to small silver 
pieces. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a derivative of the 
gold florin, which had come to Germany from Florence, was used as the 
main monetary unit in Germany. The name of this coin was the Rhenish 
gold florin (Rheinischer Goldgulden). It was minted in large quantities 
by such powers as the archbishoprics of Mainz and Cologne and the cities 
of Frankfurt and Nuremberg. By the end of the fifteenth century this 
coin had been devalued to such an extent that it contained gold which 
was only IS 1 /^ carats fine (760.4 mills), with a total weight of about 
3.48 grams. For various reasons these gold florins could no longer be 
minted: the German gold mines were being exhausted and the florin was 
so heavily alloyed with silver that this silver was being wasted, inasmuch 
as the gold coins were valued only on the basis of their gold content. 
Before 1500, various silver coins (but not copper coins!) such as the 
grossus (German, Groschen; English form, groat) and the Kreuzer were 
used as small change. 

In order to create a substitute for the large denomination in gold, 
various states commenced the striking of large silver coins. Some of the 
Swiss cities (Sitten and Bern), for example, struck such coins as imita- 
tions of the large silver coins struck by Tyrol in 1484 with the portrait 
of Archduke Sigismund and a knight in a circle of arms. These coins, 
however, were struck in relatively low quantities and had little or no 
commercial importance in themselves. The first large silver coin struck 
in large quantities was the so-called Klappmutzentaler, which was 
minted in Saxony under mint regulations dated 9 May, 1500. Its obverse 


bore a portrait of the Elector of Saxony and its reverse the facing por- 
traits of two dukes wearing hats with flaps (whence the name). Up to 
this point I have intentionally avoided the word "taler" because the cor- 
rect designation of the large silver coins mentioned above is Gulden- 
groschen, despite the fact that the word "taler" is often loosely applied 
to such pieces. Beginning in the year 1518, however, the counts of 
Schlick struck such Goldengroschen in Joachimstal in Bohemia. They 
bore a representation of St. Joachim and the Bohemian lion. These coins 
were designated as Joachimstaler. (The -er ending is the German ad- 
jectival ending in the case of adjectives derived from localities.) This 
was shortened to taler and they have been known as such since about 
1525. (The older spelling is Thaler.) The Joachimstaler originally con- 
tained 27.20 grams of pure silver. 3 

The spread of this coin to such countries as FrancX^^gland, the 
Lowlands, Scandinavia, Russia and later even to Ethiopia and the New 
World is too well known to be repeated here. In Germany itself, some 
of the princes with large deposits of silver in their territories now began 
to mint talers in tremendous quantities, notably Saxony, Braunschweig- 
Luneburg, Tyrol, Mansfeld and Stolberg. 

By the Imperial Monetary Decree of 1551, a Reichstaler (Imperial 
taler) with a value of 72 Kreuzer was promulgated. As a matter of fact, 
the Reichstalers issued under Emperor Ferdinand in the late 1550's bear 
the numeral of value. "72" on the Imperial orb below the eagle. 

During the latter half of the sixteenth century, there arose a scarcity 
of small coins because the Imperial Monetary Decree of 1559 had made 
the mistake of setting the standard of these minor coins so high that it 
was unprofitable to strike them, since the minting costs of minor coins 
are relatively high. 4 The less important authorities with fewer scruples 
took this opportunity to mint minor coins of very much lower metallic 
value. The exchange rate of the taler kept rising because of the debase- 
ment of the minor coins. Finally a rapid inflation of the value of the 
taler was precipitated by the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), as the fol- 
lowing table shows: 

1570 taler 68 Kreuzer 1619 taler = 108 Kreuzer 

1575 taler 72 Kreuzer 1620 taler 180 Kreuzer 

1601 taler = 84= Kreuzer Autumn, 1622 taler more 
1611 taler 90 Kreuzer than 1000 Kreuzer 

This state of affairs was officially recognized, because talers of 1622 
bear values as high as 150 Kreuzer. This period, 1619 to 1622, is known 
as the Kipperzeit (tippers' time) because the good, heavy talers tipped 
down the scales when placed against their nominal equivalent of minor 
coins. 5 (The name has nothing to do with clipped coins, despite numer- 
ous statements to the contrary.) 6 It is remarkable coincidence that the 
German inflation of the 20th century took place almost exactly 300 years 
later, 1919-1923. Because of the inhibition of trade brought about by 
this debasement of coinage, the princes were finally forced to resume 
the minting of good coins. It seems that the human race is so naive in 
monetary matters that it must be repeatedly taught by bitter experience 
and poverty that all social classes must eventually suffer from unsound 
currency and that the only way to permanent prosperity is through 
sound coinage. 


After the war, the minting of Reichstalers became ever more diffi- 
cult. After the signing of the monetary treaty on 27 August, 1667 in 
Cloister Zinna near Magdeburg, the Gulden., now valued at 60 Kreuzers, 
became a favorite coin, and large quantities of them were minted, dis- 
placing the Reichstaler to a considerable extent, especially during the 

When we peruse through the taler catalogues, we are struck by the 
paucity of talers struck between the period of about 1710-1740. During 
this period Germany was flooded with foreign silver, especially the 
French ecus. About the middle of the eighteenth century, a new type of 
taler appeared on the scene, namely the Konventionstaler. This taler was 
minted in especially large quantities after the Seven Years' War (1756- 
1763). These talers weighed 28.044 grams and had a fineness of 5/6 
(833 mills). They often bore the inscription "X EINE FEINE MARK." 
This meant that the piece contained 1/10 of a Cologne mark (pound) 
of pure silver. The Cologne mark weighed 233.856 grams. 7 Such talers 
were minted in large quantities, in some cases even into the first decades 
of the nineteenth century, by such states as Saxony, Austria, Hungary, 
Salzburg, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Brunswick, Hessen, the Palatinate, 
Brandenburg-Franken and Bavaria. The Imperial talers bearing the bust 
of Maria Theresa and the date 1780 are also Konventionstalers and have 
been minted almost without interruption even since that year with the 
same design and date in order to accommodate the demand caused by 
their extreme popularity in the Near East and Ethiopia. Another type 
of taler on this standard was the so-called contribution taler struck by 
Frankfurt, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Treves, Fulda and Eichstatt during 
the years 1794-1796 for the purpose of defending the country against the 
French. They were struck from the silver of the churches and the vol- 
untary contributions of the citizens. The Frankfurt talers of this type, 
for example, bear an inscription meaning "From the vessels of the 
churches and citizens of the city of Frankfurt." The Bamberg contribu- 
tion talers bear an inscription meaning "For the benefit of the father- 

Another coin which became popular in the Southern German states 
was the Kronentaler, so called because of the three crowns on it. It 
originated in the Austrian possessions in the Lowlands. It had (in 1775) 
a weight of 29.53 grams and a fineness of 872 mills. Thus, it contained 
25.75 grams of pure silver. This taler remained very popular in the 
Southern German states during the first third of the nineteenth century 
and was struck by Austria, Baden, Bavaria, Hessen-Darmstadt, Nassau, 
Wurttemberg, Waldeck and Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. 

A taler of 100 Kreuzers was struck by Baden in 1829. A somewhat 
worn specimen available to me weighs 18.04 grams. It is the first use 
of the decimal system in Germany, but it remained an isolated phe- 
nomenon in this respect for quite some time. (In 1840, Saxony intro- 
duced a Groschen of 10 Pfennigs, but the really wide-spread use of the 
decimal system in Germany did not come until after 1871.) 

In Northern Germany, things were much different. On the basis 
of the Graumann standard, promulgated by Frederic the Great with the 
help of his general mint director, Johann Philipp Graumann, in the year 


1750, Prussia minted talers of a much lower weight. They contained 
1/14 of a Cologne mark of pure silver, i.e., 16.704 grams. Since their 
fineness ranged from about 740 to 750 mills, they had a gross weight of 
about 22 grams. This lower standard, however, was destined to conquer 
all of Germany. The monetary treaty of the Southern German states 
(Bavaria, Hessen-Darmstadt, Wurttemberg, Baden, Nassau and Frank- 
furt) signed in Munich on 25 August, 1837 adopted this standard. A 
Bavarian double taler of 1837 commemorates this treaty. Later, other 
states joined in signing this treaty. On the basis of this treaty, the 
double talers, for example,, bore the inscription "Vn ELF. MARK," that 
is, seven pieces to a fine mark. Such a double taler would thus contain 
33.408 grams of pure silver with a gross weight of 37.12 grams, since 
the coins of this size were 900 mills fine. 

The monetary treaty of 24 January, 1857 introduced the metric 
pound of 500 grams. This is the treaty which finally brought monetary 
unity to all of Germany and Austria. (Switzerland had long ago started 
to tread a separate monetary path by the introduction of the franc of 
5.0 grams in conformity with the French standard which had been 
introduced after the revolution in 1795.) The Vereinstalers ( = "union 
talers") minted on the basis of this treaty were usually inscribed "XXX 
EIN PFUND FEIN." They thus weighed very slightly less than their 
predecessors. Instead of containing 16.704 grams of pure silver they 
contained 500/3016.667 grams. Since they were 900 fine, they had a 
gross weight of 18.52 grams. 

Since 1871, Germany adopted the mark of 5 grams of pure silver 
with a gross weight of 5.555 grams. The old Vereinstalers were no 
longer minted after that time but they continued to be legal tender for 
3 gold marks until 1907, when they were finally demonetized and sup- 
planted by the 3 mark pieces, which had not been minted until this year. 
After the inflation following the war, the Weimar Republic introduced 
3 mark pieces in 1924 weighing only 15 grams with a fineness of only 
500 mills. These last miserable direct descendents of the taler were 
finally struck until 1932. They lost their status as legal tender on 1 Oc- 
tober, 1934. If we set the date of the beginning of the family of talers 
into the year 1484, the line of direct descent thus lasted exactly four and 
one half centuries. 

Before closing, we cannot forego mentioning Just a few other aspects 
of talers. 

Up until the nineteenth century, talers very seldom bore this actual 
designation, with the notable exception of the Prussian talers of the 
latter half of the eighteenth century. If there were any designation of 
value at all, it was in terms of weight or number of smaller units, notably 
Kreuzers, examples of which inscriptions have been explained above. On 
the other hand, the Guldens often bore the value 2/3 (of a taler) or "60," 
especially in the seventeenth century. 

Talers have consistently been used to commemorate various events, 
especially births, marriages, and deaths of the princes as well as victories, 
peace treaties, alliances and historical events of many types. Toward the 
end of the sixteenth century, Duke Heinrich Julius of Braunschweig- 
Wolf enbuttel (1589-1613) issued a series of what might be called propa- 
ganda talers in connection with quarrels with his nobility. These are 
known as rebel, lie, truth, wasp and pelican talers. Another notable series 


is the well known one issued by Bavaria, consisting of double talers and 
talers on many historical events. In many cases, the boundary between 
the commemorative talers and medallic talers (Schautaler} is not well 

Artistically, talers have much to offer. The art of portraiture 
reached great heights during the baroque period, which was also the 
age of absolutism. We must bear in mind, however, as Sir George Hill 
quite correctly points out, 8 that the art of coinage attains its highest 
perfection on a field of not more than 32 mm. The older German talers 
have a diameter of about 40 to 45 mm in most cases and as a result the 
relief must be kept too low, proportionately, for the maximal artistic 
effects. Many taler collectors overlook this factor when they shun coins 
of y 2 and %, taler size. 9 

Taler collecting became so popular in the eighteenth century that 
special reference works were published for the benefit of collectors. The 
first of such works was written by Lilienthal and published in 1735. The 
second, "much enlarged" edition bears the date 1747 and contains 2,384 
items, with indices listing the talers according to estates, localities, 
mottoes and events commemorated or special names applied to the 
talers. 10 LilienthaFs work forms the basis of the later work by David 
Samuel von Madai, which was published in three parts and three sup- 
plements during the years 1765-1774. Madai lists over 5,000 items. He 
designated the coins, not all of them talers, with the same numbers used 
by Lilienthal, as far as these numbers run. 

During the latter part of the eighteenth century many talers were 
issued in such small quantities that we must assume that they were 
issued merely for the benefit of collectors or to symbolize (or perhaps 
"enhance" would be a better word) the power of the prince issuing them. 
Furstenberg issued, for example, talers in 1762 and 1790 in the minute 
quantities of 725 and 806 respectively. There are many other examples 
of such rare talers issued by the petty principalities. As a rule, the more 
petty the "Serenissimus," the more elaborate were the titles and coats 
of arms appearing on his coins. 

With this very brief sketch of the development of the taler, I hope 
to have been able to throw a little additional light on some of the many 
aspects of this illustrious series, especially from the standpoint of metrics. 

1 The minting of this coin, according to my information, has recently been re- 
sumed in Vienna. It has maintained almost exactly the same weight during 
the seven centuries of its existence. 

2 The first part of this word is from Latin, Caesar. The second part is probably 
derived from the circumstance that the ancient Germanic peoples had ring 
money before contact with the Romans, 

3 For the sake of comparison, it is to be noted that our U. S. dollar weighs 26.72 
grams (412% grains) since 1837, with a fineness of 900 mills. Since 1873, 
half-dollars, quarters and dimes weigh exactly 12.50, 6.25 and 2.50 grams 
respectively. The 20-cent piece of 1875 had exactly the same weight as the 
French franc, namely 5 grams. 

4 As a modern example of this phenomenon, the cost of minting five-mark pieces 
after 1871 was s /4 of 1% of their value while the cost of minting 2 and 1 pfennig 
pieces was 15% and 30% respectively. 

5 Von Schrotter, Handworterbuch der Munzkunde (1930.) p. 307. 

6 Frey, for example, makes this error in his "Dictionary of Numismatic Names/' 
sub Kippermunzen. 

7 The Imperial Monetary Decree of 10 November 1524 had established this weight 
as the basic monetary weight and it remained so until the introduction of the 
metric pound in 1857. 

8 Encyclopaedia Britannica, article on numismatics. Artistically, one of the few 
things which may be said in favor of our own commemorative half dollars is 


the fact that they have the right size, viz., 30 mm. Consider, too, the excep- 
tionally excellent portraiture on the Italian testoni toward the end of the 
fifteenth century and at the beginning of the sixteenth century. They have a 
diameter of 29 mm. 

9 The quarter taler was known as a DicTcen in Switzerland and Southern Ger- 
many and as an Ortstaler in Northern Germany. The word "ort" is an archaic 
word for quarter. The DicTcen was originally patterned on the Italian testone. 

10 At the beginning of this edition, Lilienthal inserts a guide to the rarity of 
talers. Even today this guide has some validity and is worth our attention. 
Some of the classes of talers (i.e., dollar-sized coins in some cases) which 
Lilienthal considers rare are as follows: 

Talers struck before 1530, with the exception of the Ellappmutzentaler and 

The talers of the ecclesiastical princes are rarer than those of the secular 
governments, with the exception of the talers of Salzburg. 

The talers with more than one portrait are rarer than those with one, 
with the exception of the talers of Saxony. 

The talers of female rulers are rare except those of Russia. 

The talers of princes -who reigned a short time 

The talers of the petty princes and lords are rarer than those of the great 
ones unless the former have silver mines, such as the Counts of Mansfeld. 

Talers forbidden by successors and which were called in to be melted down. 

In particular, the following talers are considered rare: Of the Holy Roman 
Empire, those struck before Ferdinand I (1556-1564), French before Louis XIV 
(1643-1715), English before Charles II (1660-85), Danish before Christian IV 
(1588-1648), all Polish except those of Sigismund III (1587-1632) and Wladys- 
law IV (1632-48), and further those of the Kingdom of Prussia, even if recent; 
also, the talers of the Electorate of Brandenburg and the Papal talers are 





E. Kann 

THE USE of communist money 
in China looks back on a his- 
tory of 25 years. The party 
was surreptitiously founded in 1921, 
but it was not until 1930 that the 
first red coin was struck. This cre- 
ation showed a man's bust, sup- 
posed to be Lenin (Kann 800). 
Neither the author, nor any of his 
collecting friends, has ever seen the 
original coin which is supposed to 
have been born in either Hunan or 
Hupeh province. However, one 
meets in America many naive for- 
geries of this very rare coin, un- 
doubtedly counterfeited in China. 

There appeared in 1931 a second 
silver dollar with the party's trade- 
mark, the star, the hammer and the 
sickle (Kann 801). A year there- 
after saw the birth of a third dollar 
(Kann 802), showing the eastern 
hemisphere, on which are superim- 
posed hammer and sickle. On the 
obverse is found a meaningless 
scrawl in pseudo-Russian, while the 
reverse finds space to immortalize 
one of the numerous Red slogans: 
"Rise and Unite the Proletariat of 
the Entire World." In the year 
1932 another communist section, 
namely the group whose grazing 
grounds then were in Hupeh-Honan 
and Anhwei, had a fourth silver 
dollar struck, on the obverse of 
which is found the name of the 
maker, namely the Laborers and 
Farmers bank. 

Also in 1932, one could witness 
the first bringing into existence of 
a silver communist 20 $ piece, made 
in Kiangsi Province (Kann 805) 
and dated according to the western 
calendar, A year later a similar 

20tf coin appeared, dated 1933 (Kann 
807). The last communist-made sil- 
ver dollar was dated 1934 (Kann 
808), which the author so far has 
met in about 25 varieties. 

Mention ought to be made here of 
a very interesting and rare Chinese 
silver dollar coin, minted by the 
legitimate Chinese government 
showing the effigy of Pres. Yuan 
Shih-kai and dated 3rd Year of the 
Republic, i.e. 1914. This very pop- 
ular coin though in but limited 
quantities was embossed with a 
rectangle on the obverse, containing 
the phonetical transcription of 
"Soviet" (Kann 650k). 

The foregoing enumeration of 
silver coinage exhausts the synop- 
sis. For completeness one has to 
add the existence of a few copper 
coins which originated in 1933-1934, 
and which were denominated Itf, 5<, 
200 and 500 cash. 

By way of explanation it ought 
to be pointed out that during those 
critical years 1931-1934, the com- 
munist armies were being harassed 
and pursued by Chiang Kai-shek's 
nationalist army forces. They had 
no permanent domicile and were 
kept constantly on the move. Thus 
it will be understood that minting 
machinery was not installed in 
buildings during those times, but 
loaded on covered wagons which, 
drawn by indolent mules or starv- 
ing Mongolian ponies, crept along 
undulated field paths. It also will 
become obvious that the creators 
and controllers of the red coinage 
were not banks in the accepted 
meaning of the word, for they too 
were housed in shabby vehicles, 


trotting along with the advancing 
or retreating soldiery. 

From 1932 onward the Chinese 
communists figured as issuers of 
paper money, also issued by groups 
stationed in certain provinces and 
imprinted with the name of some 
imaginary or temporarily existing 
bank. All these notes bore the 
usual Red trade-marks; many used 
the available space for imprinting 
propaganda slogans, thereby at- 
tempting to hammer and sickle the 
virtues of their Red doctrines into 
the minds of the commonalty. These 
notes were printed either on soft 
native paper, or else (in 1933) on 
cotton cloth, either left in their nat- 
ural cream color, or else in dark 
or light blue shades. During these 
critical periods, when attacker or 
pursuer had to move in alternate 
directions, the peasant population 
underwent enormous sufferings, not 
merely because of predatory actions 
of military hordes, but also due to 
being holders of paper money. When 
the nationalists found some of the 
rural population in possession of 
communist fiat money, they con- 
demned the "criminals" to die. And 
when the red marauders re-entered 
the area and found that some of 
the people held fa-pi scrip (legal 
tender currency), they made short 
shrift with the poor people by con- 
demning them to "lifelong decapi- 

During the war of resistance 
(1937-1945) the nationalists and the 
communists made up, at least nom- 
inally, with the object of fighting 
the Japanese aggressors. However, 
during those years the red armies 
issued their own paper money in 
the names of countless banking in- 

A show of unity during the Sino- 
Japanese imbroglio was imperative. 
Therefore the Kuomintang authori- 
ties did not interfere with the ac- 
tions of the Chinese communists, 
also as regards their contribution 
towards financing the war effort. 
This they did by the plentiful emis- 
sion of red paper money. How much 
of it? Nobody will ever be told. In 
the end the already pauperized com- 
munity had to pay for the muddle. 

"When Soviet Russia entered Man- 

churia in 1945 to administer the 
coup de grace to the Nipponese 
Kwangtung army, they circulated 
a huge volume of special com- 
munist occupation notes. Officially 
the figure was indicated at 300 mil- 
lion local dollars; people in the 
know think this figure has to be 
trebled in order to come nearer to 
the truth. 

Communists as Rulers of the 
Chinese Mainland 

Here begins the second chapter 
of our story. Let us recall some 
important dates. The communist 
armies' march to success originated 
in Manchuria, where the Russians 
supplied them with the arms ob- 
tained from the subjugated Jap- 
anese forces. They quickly con- 
quered North China and headed 
south. On Dec. 1, 1948, the Peo- 
ples' Bank of China was officially 
founded, at a time when only one- 
fifth of China's population was 
under their sway. This institution 
was to be China's government bank 
with sole prerogative of note-issue. 
All the notes emitted by the dozens 
of regional communist institutions 
throughout the country were to be 
recalled and exchanged against the 
sole legal tender, the Jen Min Piao 
(JMP: "People's notes") at diversi- 
fied rates, but invariably under dis- 
count. Some banks' issues suffered 
a high discount, as expressed in the 
ratio of 1 : 5000. 

On May 25, 1949, the reds en- 
tered Shanghai, and months later 
they were in possession of the en- 
tire Chinese mainland. In 1950 the 
outlying dependencies of Sinkiang 
and Tibet had been brought under 
their sway. Manchuria and Inner 
Mongolia, which had been allowed 
to have their own currencies, were 
called upon to close ranks and be 
members of the JMP block. The 
nationalist authorities sought and 
found a haven of refuge on the 
island of Taiwan (Formosa) and 
still live there in the ardent hope 
of one day reconquering the Chi- 
nese mainland. 

Structure of Chinese Communist 

The general public in foreign 


countries is unaware of the salient 
features of the monetary system 
on the Chinese mainland today. The 
problem as such is vital for a clear 
understanding of the contemporary 
situation in the Far East. As one 
who resided in the Far East for 48 
years and who has been a close ob- 
server ever since his departure from 
Shanghai in 1949, I feel entitled to 
present to my fellow citizens an un- 
biased and authoritative account of 
reality. The outstanding features 
of the system are: 

(a) The communist Chinese mon- 
etary system is a managed cur- 
rency; or, rather, a proclaimed 
managed monetary system. 

(b) Although the Chinese masses 
have for thousands of years been 
metal-minded as regards money, the 
communists, since their accession 
in 1948, have abolished metallic 
money, even as tokens. Instead 
their entire monetary circulation is 

(c) From the outset the reds in 
China claimed that precious metals 
and/or foreign currency balances 
have been outmoded as monetary 
reserves. Instead, commodities are 
being adopted by China to serve as 
effective reserve funds against the 
notes in circulation. Such commodi- 
ties are to consist of rice, flour, cot- 
ton cloth, cooking oil and charcoal. 

(d) However, red Chinese paper 
is irredeemable, even against such 
vital commodities. Neither would 
the authorities publicize how much 
of these commodities it actually 
holds, where they are stored and 
how they are valued. 

(e) One of the most important 
requirements for a regularized note 
issue is authentic information as to 
the size of a country's note emis- 
sion. The Chinese communists so 
far have deemed it beyond their 
dignity to publish official figures 
relating to their weekly or monthly 
note issue. Neither have the finan- 
cial authorities so far bothered to 
publish balance sheets showing the 
status at a given date. Such par- 
ticulars are kept a profound secret. 
But the neglect certainly breeds 
lack of confidence. 

Cf ) The communists express aver- 

sion against the linking of a coun- 
try's currency to the monetary sys- 
tem of another nation, even one 
with exemplary standing. This 
standpoint is connected by the reds 
with colonialism. 

(g) Shortly after the Chinese 
communists had swung into the 
saddle, they decreed that people 
were permitted to keep their gold 
and silver, but they were not al- 
lowed to trade in, or transport, the 
precious metals. Shortly thereafter 
the public was notified to deliver 
to the authorities all gold, silver 
and foreign monies at arbitrarily 
fixed quotations. 

(h) When assuming the role of 
government bank, the Peoples Bank 
of China proclaimed that, aside 
from fractional notes, it would issue 
banknotes in denominations rang- 
ing from JMP one to 100. But al- 
ready in September of 1949, higher 
values had to be brought into traffic, 
namely notes for JMP 500 and 1,000. 
In January, 1950, still higher notes 
(JMP 5,000 and 10,000) were circu- 
lated. At the opening of 1954 still 
larger denominations made their 
appearance, namely 20,000 and 50,- 
000; and at the close of 1954 notes 
for JMP 100,000 appeared on the 
market. Surely, these are clear 
signs of rampant inflation. 

(i) When the reds first occupied 
Nanking (April, 1949), the ratio 
between the U. S. dollar and JMP 
was 396 for one U. S. dollar. In 
January, 1955, the quotation for 
American money (not quoted direct 
in communist China) via Hongkong 
arbitrage worked out at over JMP 
45,000 for one U. S. dollar. 

(j) Other important factors also 
prove in unmistakable terms that 
there was or is acute inflation 
in Red China. This becomes evident 
when considering wholesale com- 
modity prices since 1949, when 
viewing the index of the cost of 
living, and in particular the market 
price of rice, the standard measure 
of everything in China. When the 
communists started their adminis- 
tration of Shanghai (mid- June, 1949) 
a bag of rice weighing 170 pounds, 
cost JMP 11,000. Six months later 
the same quantity had shot up in 
price to JMP 285,000. 


(k) As mentioned under (c), the to present all their notes for ex- 
communists, during the initial years change at the rate of 10,000 old 
of holding office, scornfully repudi- JMP against one new JMP. In 
ated the need of metallic currency other words, Chinese reds' money 
reserves. Now they point with pride was devaluated 10,000 to one. The 
to the accumulation of gold and dumbfounded populace was told 
silver for the very same purpose. that this reform was instituted 
But they are silent in respect to the ". . . with the object of improving 
actual size of such metallic reserves, China's currency system." 
as to the ratio to their undisclosed These are the highlights of 
circulation of paper money. China's concern over an unques- 

(1) When the situation became tionably huge issue of fiat money 

critical and untenable, the red au- by the red regime, a status which 

thorities decreed that a currency does not bring much hope or solace 

reform was imminent. As of March to the sorely tried nation. 
1, 1955, holders of JMP were asked 


Cheng Te K'un 

I. Introduction. 

It is a great pleasure to enjoy the beautiful coins of Mr. C. K. Cheng of 
the University of Washington, Seattle. It is even a greater pleasure to be 
asked to make a study of the collection. 

The collection consists of 445 silver coins, collected in China from 1926 
to 1936. These may be classified under three categories: 

1. Foreign coins used in China (1-176) 176 

2. Coins issued during the Ch'ing dynasty (177-313) 136 

3. Coins issued during the Republic (313-445) 133 

There are no less than twenty-eight complete sets in the collection, making 
it the most complete collection of Chinese silver coins I have ever seen in 
this country. The collection serves lo illustrate not only the development 
of silver coinage in China, but also the modern history of the oldest nation 
in the Par East. The portraits that appeared on the coins represent most 
of the leading figures in the past century, including the celebrated Empress 
Dowager, the well-known diplomat and statesman, Li Hungehang, the father 
of the Republic, Sun Yat-sen, the ambitious Yuan Shih-kai and many others. 
The historical significance of these coins will be treated in the following 

H. The Silver. 

Silver was known to the Chinese as the "white metal," many centuries 
before the Christian Era. It was used on a very limited scale, either as 
presents among different states or as gifts from the emperor to his officials. 
Throughout the centuries, there has always been a more or less recognized 
correspondence and fixed ratio of convertibility between the metal and the 
copper, the basic standard of Chinese currency. The ratios were recorded 
in the Official History. Prices of commodity were usually quoted in silver. 

In 119 B. C., Emperor Wu-ti of the Han dynasty began to issue silver 


money. There were three varieties of "white metal" currency issued for 
circulation at that time, valuing at 3,000, 500, and 300 copper cash respec- 
tively. But being- unpopular, they were abolished soon afterwards. 

About a hundred years later when Wang Mang came into power (9-22 
A. D.), he issued another type of silver money which was eight tael in weight. 
The value was set at 1,580 cashes for each tael. This new currency suffered 
the same fate as its predecessors. 

In the later dynasties, silver was used as a medium of trade. But the 
use was limited to the sea ports on the coast of the present-day Kwangtung 
and Indo-China. As foreign trade with the South Sea Islanders, the Arabs 
and the Persians became more widespread, the use of silver was introduced 
into Fukien and Chekiang Provinces. It became popular during the Sung 
dynasty (960-1279). 

At the end of the dynasty, about 1183 A. D., a set of silver coins, imitating 
the copper cash, was issued. There were five kinds, weighing 1, 2, 3, 5, and 
10 taels respectively, each tael passing for 2,000 cash. They could be used 
as official and commercial currency, and served equally as reserve for paper 
notes. This may be taken as the beginning of silver coinage in China but 
it was circulated only for three years. 

Another silver coin, an exact model of the cash of the reign, was minted 
during the reign of Emperor Wan-li, (1573-1619), Ming dynasty, but this 
was probably a mint sport. 

Silver was used as standardized currency for business transactions during 
the last five hundred years. The practice had developed into the tael 
system, which existed side by side with the modern coins until its abolition 
in 1933. 

IH. The Tael. 

With the exception of those mentioned above, China has never had a 
government coin of other metal than copper before the introduction of 
modern coinage. Silver was the standardized currency in the country and 
it was not a coin but a weight. This weight was the tael which was probably 
a Hindu-Malayan origin, liang is the Chinese word for it. When an operation 
in international trade, a wholesale purchase, or Customs duties had to be 
liquidated, payment was effected by weighing out the required number of 
tael of the stipulated quality of silver. 

The tael unit was not uniform at all. There were various kinds of tael 
because its weight was fixed according to custom and not by law. Every 
commercial centre had not only its own tael-weight but also several standards 
of it. Moreover, even in one place, the silver was of several degrees in 

The tael unit was operated according to the decimal system as follows: 
1 liang was equal to 10 chien (mace), 1 chlen was equal to 10 fen (can- 
dereen), and 1 fen was equal to 10 li (cash). 

The tael weighed approximately from 500 to 600 grains, or from 32 to 39 
grams. The silver was most commonly current in oval ingots called "shoes" 
from their resemblance to a Chinese shoe; but what may be called fractional 
currency was in obovoid lumps weighing up to two or three tael. The silver 
contained in the "shoe" was called sycee which was supposed to be of "pure 
silver" of a fineness of 1,000. 

The principal varieties of the tael unit were the Haikwan tael, the Kupin 
tael, the Shanghai tael, the Kwangtung tael, the Ts'aopin tael, the Tientsin 
tael, the Hankow tael, the Peking tael, and the Niuchang tael. The Kupin 
tael was regulated by the government and was used for the payment of 
taxes, being the standard unit all over China. The Haikwan tael was used 
for the payment of custom duty. It was adopted for that purpose in con- 
nection with the Sino-British commercial treaty. The Ts'aopin tael was the 
one used by the people in general, as the standard coin, but its weight dif- 
fered according to locality. Even in one locality it is not always the same. 

The value of the tael was standardized by the Wen-yin or pure silver as 
the standard silver money, but the value of the Wen-y:m itself sometimes 
varied in different localities. The coin was cast at silver smelters which 
were operated by private concerns. There were three varieties of Chinese 
silver "shoe." The largest of all was generally called the sycee and weighed 
about 50 tael. It is technically called Yuan-pao yin. The medium size was 
called the Chungting, and the smallest, the Siao-lce. The actual form of 
the money or the "shoe" was not uniform in weight and was equivalent in 


value to a sum ranging from 49.85 to 50.10 Ts'aopin tael. The silver was 
inspected by the government and its quality and weight were determined 
tnere tor circulation. But in common practice the tael was more a nominal 
unit than a coin, which was inconvenient for circulation. 

IV. Foreign Coins. 

The chief value of numismatics is the light which the study throws upon 
history. Silver coins circulated on Chinese market reminds us of the trade 
relations between China and the West during tire last two and a half 
centuries. The discovery of the new trade routes by sea to the east brought 
European merchants to the door of Old Cathay. The influx of foreign cur- 
rencies increased with the development of trade. 

After their occupation of the Philippines, the Spanish made Manila the 
trading centre in the East. There they came in contact with Chinese mer- 
chants, who had been trading with the natives long before their arrival. 
In the 250 years that followed, Chinese merchants had brought back from 
the Philippines at least 100,000,000 Spanish pesos. At about the same time, 
the Portuguese came to Macao and monopolized the China trade for many 
decades. Then followed the English, they came first to Canton and later 
occupied Hongkong. The Dutch first stationed in Formosa and afterwards 
was forced to retreat to the Dutch East Indies. The French traded with 
China through Indo-China. The influx of European currency to China 
through these countries had been estimated to be more than 60,000,000 
dollars. Meanwhile, foreign trade "was developed in Japan at Nagasaki and 
hundred thousands of Japanese dollars were brought to China by Chinese 
and Dutch merchants. During the first half of the nineteenth century, with 
the rise of Sino-American trade, it has been estimated that more than 50,- 
000,000 dollars were shipped to China from America. 

Before the modernization of Chinese currency, these foreign coins flooded 
the Chinese market and were popular even in domestic trade. In the south 
the quicker-witted Cantonese and Fukienese had accepted the foreign coins, 
but had done so in a peculiar manner. The first banker or merchant, into 
whose hands the foreign coin came, "chopped" it with a tiny impressed ideo- 
gram (4, 8, 10, 29, 78, 133, 164), thereby giving the trademan and the 
individual his guarantee for the actual value of the coin. This was repeated 
by each succeeding banker, until in the end the chopped dollar resembled a 
disc, or rather a cup, of hammered silver work. The practice was carried 
on down to the days of the Republic and many native dollars suffered from 
the same fate (200-279). But in the north and along the Yangtse, the coin 
remained as it came from the mint. 

The first foreign dollar introduced into China was the Spanish Carolus 
dollar, also called the Pillar dollar from its design, the Pillars of Hercules. 
This was succeeded by that of Charles IV. The coins were collected from 
all parts of the world and imported into the coastal cities and gradually 
found their way into the interior. For a long time the Spanish peso was 
the only foreign coin accepted by the Chinese (1-24). 

The next jbo be accepted was the Mexican dollar, also known as the Eagle 
dollar from its design, an eagle grasping a cactus in its talons. It came to 
China when Mexico, a producer of silver, began to export silver coins to the 
Orient, and by the middle of the nineteenth century it replaced the Pillar 
dollar in most of the commercial centers. Mexico adopted the gold standard 
in 1904 and subsequently prohibited the export of the Mexican dollar, but 
the silver coins continued to circulate in China until the beginning of the 
Chinese Republic (77-80). 

The first British coin that came to China was that of the East India 
Company. The coin was minted for the trade in the British colony and had 
gradually found its way into China, by sea to Canton and over the Himalayas 
into Tibet. As the trade with China developed, the British began to issue 
the British Trade dollar, which was circulated not only in the south where 
the British gained her strong foothold at Hongkong, but also in the north. 
The coin was called the Standing-figure or Cane dollar from its design, a 
standing figure holding a cane in his hand. There were two kinds of British 
Trade dollar, one was minted at Hongkong in 1866-68 and the other was 
coined in India. These were intended for the trade with China and for the 
replacement of the Eagle dollar, so Chinese characters I yuan or one dollar 
appeared on the coin. Other British coins were also brought to the Far 


East, but never enjoyed any popularity as the trade dollar. (39-53, 96-111, 

About the end of the nineteenth century, the American Trade Dollar was 
introduced. The wisdom of Congress decreed that it should displace its 
rival by its weight 420 grains instead of the 416.5 grains of the Mexican. 
But when these two coins were put into circulation side by side among the 
Chinese, the heavier coin went at once into the melting-pot. (81-83) 

The Japanese yen followed and attained a moderate degree of popularity. 
It was also called the Dragon dollar from its design, which is different from 
the Chinese Dragon dollar. The establishment of a gold basis for this coin 
put an end to its issue as a monemetallic silver coin. (163-176) 

The French Indo-China piaster had not met with any great degree of 
success in the north but was quite popular in the provinces of Yunnan and 
Kwangsi because of geographical reason. (133-139) 

Coins from other European and American countries, such as Belgium., 
Holland, Denmark, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, etc. were for sometime used in 
the Orient in a very limited circle and the amount imported was insignifi- 
cant. Foreign subsidiary coins were also circulated but the number was 
too small to attract any great attention. 

V. Coins of the Ch'ing; Dynasty. 

The popularity of foreign coins in China inspired the Chinese authority 
to develop a silver coinage of its own. In 1792, Emperor Ch'ien-lung per- 
mitted the Ministry of Finance to issue silver coins for Tibet to compete 
with British coins which had come in through India in large numbers and 
had been dominating the market. 

During the reign of Tao-kuang (1821-1850), the Governor of Tai-wan 
(Formosa) issued three varieties of silver dollar to replace foreign coins 
circulated on the island, especially the Dutch coins. (25-38). They were 
called the lucky silver, the sword-and-weight silver and the longlife-star 
silver, (177) from their respective designs. A few years later, a silver coin 
of one tael was minted and it was used only in paying the army, as indicated 
on the coin. (178). These silver coins were circulated on the island and 
were not used on the mainland. 

Shortly before the Opium War (1839-1842), when Lin Tse-hsu, the 
famous Opium Commissioner, assumed his office at Canton, he issued silver 
coins under the name of the provincial government, for the purpose of driv- 
ing foreign coins out of China. A few years later, the provincial government 
of Chekiang followed suit. But these coins were not very popular for they 
were issued without the sanction of the emperor. 

In 1877, the provincial government of Kirin issued a set of silver coins 
which likewise were not well received. 

The forerunners of modern Chinese silver coinage, as mentioned above, 
were issued by the local authorities. This had made provincialism so char- 
acteristic of the new currency in China and a great handicap which had taken 
the central ministry years to overcome. 

In 1887, the governor of Kwangtung, Chang Ch'ih-tung, obtained per- 
mission from the throne to mint silver dollars. Each coin weighed 7 mace 
and 2 candereens, with Chinese dragon on one side, and four characters, 
Kuang-su-yuan-pao, meaning "the precious dollar of Emperor Kuang-su", 
on the other. These dollars bore inscriptions in English, too, and were 
widely circulated. (200-207) 

The work was followed by the governors of Hupeh, Fengtien, Kirin, 
Kiangnan, Anhui, Yunnan, Szechuan, and Peiyang, (220-289) These pro- 
vincial mints turned out many millions of silver dollars bearing the pro- 
vincial name. Unfortunately, these were not freely received for taxes, and 
when taken were accepted by weight and not by count. They had not the 
prestige of the Mexican, but had only a provincial guarantee, and outside 
the province of issue circulated only at a discount. So in later years, the 
annual output has been thousands instead of millions. They also issued 
subsidiary coinage, namely, 50-cent, 20-cent, 10-cent, and in some cases, 
5-cent pieces. 

The uncentralized silver coinage had created quite a confusion on the 
market. The throne tried many ways to standardize the currency, but the 
complication involved with foreign coins and the old tael system had made 
tne task very difficult. In 1910, the government put on the market a set 


of new silver coins, which bore the inscription, Ta-ch'mg-yin-pi, meaning 
"the silver coin of the Ch'ing dynasty." The subsidiary coins were 50-cent, 
and 10-cent pieces. (306-308) But the dynasty came to an end the next 

All these Ching coins were in circulation until the third year of the 
Republic, 1914. 

There were three occasions that commemoration dollars were issued dur- 
ing this period of the introduction of new silver coinage in China. In 1893, 
the Emperor ordered to mint a silver coin of one tael in commemoration of 
the seventieth birthday of Li Hung-chang. A bust of the great statesman, 
diplomat and reformer appeared on the coin. (312) The sixtieth birthday 
(1894) of the Empress Dowanger Tsu-hsi inspired the provinces of Chekiang 
and Yunnan to mint silver dollars with the bust of the Empress on it. 
These were presented to the palace for the grand occasion, and were very 
limited in number. (309-310) The province of Fukien followed the same 
example on the thirtieth birthday (1901) of Emperor Kuang-su. (311) 

VI. Coins of the Republic. 

The fall of the Ch'ing dynasty did not bring the circulation of Ch'ing 
silver coins to an end. They circulated side by side with foreign coins until 
the third year of the Republic, 1914, when the government issued the Yuan 
Shihkai dollar. In fact, during the first three years of the Republic, the 
central mint continued to issue the Hsuan-tung-yuan-pao or Precious silver 
of the Emperor Hsuan-tung. Neither did the provincial mints try to coin 
new money. The only exception was the Szechuan mints which were then 
controlled by the Military Government of the Revolutionists. The SzecTman- 
yin pi or Silver money of Szechuan was issued and enjoyed wide circulation 
in tlie province. It was also known as the Han Money, from the Chinese 
character that appeared on the other side of the coin. The character was in 
the old seal style. (313-330) 

Meanwhile, the central mint issued a set of four silver dollars in com- 
memoration of the establishment of the Republic. Pour leading figures of 
the New Government were chosen to have their image engraved on the new 
coins respectively. They were Sun Yat-sen, Yuan Shih-kai, Huang Hsing, 
and Li Yuan-hung. The first appeared on horseback and the picture was 
very poorly engraved. (339) The second appeared in full military uniform 
(342) and the third in his college cap and gown. (340) The fourth was 
also in the military uniform but without the cap. (341) These later three 
were in bust. The last coin was put on the market when Li was president 
of the Republic in 1916. 

The Yuan Shih-kai dollar mentioned above must not be confused with that 
issued in 1914 and bore the bust of the president facing left and without the 
hat. It was the policy of the government to standardize the silver coinage 
and to do away with the inconveniences caused by the different kinds of 
foreign and Ch'ing coins in the country. The central mint at Tientsin first 
put out a set of silver coins, namely, one dollar, 50-cent, 20-cent, and 10- 
cent pieces. (343-346) 

The new currency was very well received in the country and in a few 
years' time, it had actually replaced the old currencies completely. This 
was due to the fact the quality was good and the weight was uniform. The 
reform was then extended to the provincial mints at Nanking, Ankmg, 
"Wuchang and Hangchou. The popularity of the silver enabled the Yuan 
dollars to be minted again in 1919, 1920 and 1921, (348-350) long after 
the death of the ambitious man. 

In the winter of 1915, Yuan Shih-kai plotted against the Republic and 
declared the establishment of a new dynasty with himself as the first 
emperor. The fifth year of the Republic was made the first year of his 
reign, Hung-hsien. Three varieties of silver dollar were ordered to be 
minted in commemoration of the new reign. Each of the dollars bore the 
image of the new emperor; one in full military uniform, the same picture 
as the one that appeared on the 1912 dollar; another on horseback; and 
the third in his gorgeous imperial costume. (360-363) He did not live long 
to put his new coins on the market. He died in the summer of 1916 and 
the Republic was restored with Li Yuan-hung as the President. 

The Yuan dollar mentioned above continued to dominate the market 
after the death of Yuan Shih-kai. During this period of thirteen years the 


government never tried to issue any new coins for circulation. A number 
of commemoration dollars may be listed as follows: 

1918 The Feng Kuo-chang dollar, in commemoration of his election as 

the president of the Republic. (368) 
1918 The Tuan Ch'i-juan dollar, in commemoration of the Armistice of 

the World War, (372-373) 
1921 The Hsu Shih-chang dollar, in commemoration of his election an 

president of the Republic. (369) 
1923 The Dragon-and-phoenix dollar, issued by Marshal Chang Tso-Hn 

in commemoration of the marriage of Hsuan-tung, the abdicated 

boy emperor of the Ch'ing dynasty. (374) 
1923 The Ts'ao Kim dollar, in commemoration of his elect ion as the 

president of the Republic. The President appeared in full military 

uniform. (370-375) 
1924 The Ts'ao Kun dollar, in commemoration of his promulgation of 

the Permanent Constitution of the Republic, The bust was in 

civil costume. (371-376) 
1928 The Chang Tso-lin dollar, in commemoration of his resuming the 

generalissimoship of the land and naval forces of the Chinese Re- 
public. He was in full military uniform. (378) 
1928 The Chang Tso-lin dollar, for the same occasion. He was in civil 

costume. (377) 
1929 The Sun Yat-sen dollar, in commemoration of the establishment of 

the Nationalist Government in Nanking. The Father of the Chinese 

Republic appeared in western costume. (383) 

Since the establishment of the National Government in Nanking, the popu- 
lar Yuan Shih-kai dollar was rivalled by the Chung-sun dollar. Another 
name for this new currency was the Sun Yat-sen dollar, from the small bunt 
of the national hero in the centre of one face. This was issued in targe 
quantities intending to replace the old money. 

In 1932, another Chung-san dollar was issued, with a big hunt of 8un 
Yat-sen on one face and a Chinese sailing vessel on the other, Kor some 
delicate reasons, the new dollar was withdrawn after being placed on the 
market for one day. (384,394) 

During the last twenty-five years, the energy of the provincial mints* had 
been devoted to the issue of subsidiary coins. Dillcially the lO-rent und the 
20-cent pieces consisted of silver 800 flno, while the dollar was 900 lino. 
These coins could be sold from the mint at 110 cents for the dollar and still 
show a profit. Moreover, these auxiliary money were coined freely by each 
local government and its quality degenerated. They became popular with 
the smaller money-changers because of tho margin between the rate of 
issue and the intrinsic value, and because of the petty speculation permit ted 
by the margin of value. At first, the provincial authority attempted to 
maintain the poor quality coins at. the same rate of value us the silver yuan 
but ultimately this attempt failed, with the result that the price fluctuated 
with the quality, the weight, and with other eiretimstanees. Among (he sub- 
sidiary coins issued by the local authorities, those minted by Kwantung 
(395-405) enjoyed the widest circulation and held a pretty constant price of 
approximately 120 cents to one silver yuan. In 1924, the* Fukien coins (410) 
were reduced to one-fourth of their face value.. 

Among the provincial silver coinage, none, was more contusing than that 
of the Province of Szechwan. The province had two ofllcial mints situated 
at Chengtu and Chungking. As soon as the revolution broke* out in 1911, 
the mints destroyed the old dragon mold and the. Han coins, already men- 
tioned above, were issued by the Military Government, The, most, significant 
difference between the coins from the two mints lies with the character Yiw, 
meaning silver, in which the Chengtu coins used a horizontal stroke for the 
two dots. For the next quarter of a century, the province issued the Han 
currency without changing the date (1912) that appeared on the coin. 
During this period, the province was controlled by several petty war-lords. 
They each issued the Han coins of their own and the quality of the silver 
differed enormously. The provincial coins were called the mint issue while 
those of private mints were called the miscellaneous issues. Although the 
designs of these coins looked all alike, yet expert money-changers in the 
street could notice at a glance the differences of the characters inscribed 

on various issues. The value of the private issues varied according to their 

In 1933, the Red Army of China made its historic march into Szechwan 
and Shensi, where they set up a Chinese Soviet Republic. New currencies 
were issued and. among them the silver coins issued in 1934 enjoyed the 
greatest popularity. Owing to lack of adequate eqquipments, the coins were 
poorly pressed and the design varied slightly with each mint. (428-445) 
The 20-cent piece was not so popular as the silver dollar because the Soviet 
government encouraged the circulation of linen money which was the first 
of its kind in the history of Chinese currency. (446-450) 

On November 5, 1935, the Chinese National Government staged a drastic 
currency reform. All silver money were nationalized. The "white metal" 
coins ceased from circulation. In the winter of the following year, the 
Chinese Soviet Republic was abolished. And the silver coinage of China 
came to an end. 

VII. Chinese lanen Money. 

A complete set of linen money issued by the Chinese Soviet Republic in 
1933 is appending to Mr. Cheng's collection. The set consists of five varieties 
and, as mentioned above, is the first of its kind in the history of Chinese 
currency. A detailed description of these linen money may be given as 

The linen is a rough material produced by native weavers. It measures 
15 cm. long and 8 cm. wide. 

The design of the five varieties is the same. The front page composes 
of a star and a fiat on the "Scythe and Hammer" in the middle. The Chinese 
characters, from the top to the bottom, read as follows: 

1. Chilian shili clie wu ch'an die chi nien lie ch'i lai, meaning "Arise and 
be united, the proletariat of the whole globe." 

2. Chan sheii sheng eu wei ya cheng fu, meaning "The Soviet Govern- 
ment of the Provinces of Szechwan and Shensi." 

3. Nung kung yin hang, meaning "The Bank of Labourers and Farmers." 

4. San ch'tian, meaning "Three thousand cashes." 

5. I chio san can nien, 1933. 

The background of the front page is composed of the slogans of two 
government policies, planned out in geometrical design. These read Tseng 
chia sheng ch'an, "to increase production," and Fa chan ching chi, "to (carry 
out) economic development." 

The other page of the money is composed of a machine wheel and "3" in 
the centre. The background of the page is also filled with the two slogans 
mentioned above, but planned out in a different way. The wheel is said to 
signify the importance of machine age. "3" means 3,000 cashes. 

An oval and a square seal are used to testify the issue of the money. 
The former is a seal of the Ministry of Finance, bearing two stars and the 
following characters: 

1. Chung hwa su wei ya kiing ho kuo Chwan shen sheng cli'ai cheng wei 
yuan hui yin, "Seal of the Financial Committee of the Provinces of 
Szechwan and Shensi, the Soviet Republic of China." 

2. Kiing nung huo pi, pu chieh pu ko, "Money of Labourers and Farmers, 
no discount is allowed." 

3. Szu bieii shiiig shih, chiao chia tui huan, "Made for current use, 
promised to refund the stated value." 

The signature of the Chaiiman of the Committee, N. L. Dang, in both 
Chinese and romanization appears at the bottom of the seal, which is always 
stamped on the front page of the money. 

The square seal is that of the bank and is stamped on the back page. It 
reads Chwan shen sheiig kimj? nimac Yin hang yin, meaning "The Seal of the^ 
Labourers and Farmers' Bank of the Provinces of Szechwan and Shensi." 

The first feank note is made of white linen, stamped with both seals. The 
second is also made of white linen, with only the square seal stamped on the 
back page. The third is made of blue starched linen, the most popular 
native fabric in Western China and is stamped with both seals. The fourth 


is of the same material as the third, with the square seal stamped on the 
back page. 

Towards the end of 1933, the linen money is said to have become very 
popular. The demand had been so great that the bank had no time to print 
the money on both sides and to present it to the Ministry of Finance for 
countersign. The note appeared on the market with a blank front page. 
This constitutes the fifth of the set. 

In the winter of 1936, the Chinese Soviet Republic was dissolved and the 
Soviet money had been replaced by the national notes. The Soviet silver 
and copper coins were preserved for their value as metals, but the linen 
money was destroyed. 

September 18, 1939 
Harvard-Yenchmg Institute 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Chinese Fake Coins 

Ever since the inception of the Chinese Republic there has been a 
large variety of Republican dollars showing various portraits or interesting 
designs. Some were for actual use and large numbers were made. Others 
partook of the nature of commemorative pieces; some undoubtedly coins; 
others., without doubt, nothing more than medals. As many leaders have 
come and gone in China since the fall of the Empire, and many local war 
lords have had their day of power, and all of them have wished for a place 
in the sun, most have had their portraits placed upon coins and medals. 
These pieces have naturally caused wide interest and the collecting of 
them has been fostered not only by people outside of China but by many 
of the Chinese themselves. These pieces I am not discussing. Most of 
them are probably legitimate, though I have my doubts on some . . . 

There is, however, a certain type of coin I wish to bring to the at- 
tention of collectors. As there apparently has been a demand for dollar 
size coins, obliging Chinese mint officials are apparently doing their best 
to supply this want, and we consequently get coins made many years ago 
rejuvenated by new dies, and coins that never existed in dollar sizes pro- 
duced in dollar or tael size . . . When so many different varieties have 
appeared, not only a suspicion has been created, but on examination any- 
one with a little knowledge and thought of what had been issued can see 
easily that these pieces are absolute frauds. Excerpts from "Recent Faking 
of Chinese Coins at the Chinese Mints" by Howland Wood, The Numis- 
matist, July, 1932. 



Clifton A. Temple 

first . Became interested in the modern type Chinese coins I en- 
considerable difficulty in properly attributing many in my collec- 
ai*lri t* v *" ou * m *<*<>*s of dating used. I am, therefore, writing 
this article in the hope that others may benefit from my experience 
loa T^if + 0r +1 t0 properl y attribute the Chinese coins in my collection I 
learned that there were three methods used in dating, as follows- 

1 Use O f the emperor's nien-hao. 

2 Dated from the beginning of emperor's reign, or the commencement 

01 the republic. 
3 Use of the years of the Chinese cycle. 

Fig, 1. 

In the first method, the only means of attributing the date is by the use 
of the emperor's nien-hao which appears on the coin. (The nien-hao is a 
title assumed by the emperor; his true name is never used). Fig. 1 shows 
a coin of Kwang-Hsu, who reigned from 1875 to 1908. Pig. 2 shows a 
similar type of coin, but issued by emperor Hsuan-Tung (now Emperor of 
Manchukuo), who reigned from 1908 until the advent of the republic 
early in 1912, when he abdicated. The emperor's nien-hao is indicated by 
the characters at the top and bottom on the obverse of each coin. 

dK^ ; v':*"^c*v : - > 


Fig. 2. 

The second method of dating is much more specific, as it not only gives 
the emperor's nien-hao but also states the year of his reign. Fig. 3 illus- 
trates a coin using this method of dating. The four characters at the top 
of the reverse reads "Hsuan-Tung, third year" (reading from right to left). 

The third method employs the use of two characters which denote the 
year of the Chinese cycle. There are two series of characters, one consist- 
ing of ten and the other of twelve characters, and combinations of one 
character from each series produce the names of the sixty years of the 
Chinese cycle. This method of dating gave me considerable difficulty in 


attributing the date until I secured, a chart showing the various combina- 
tions of characters. This chart is shown by Fig. 4. 

( 76th Cycle ) 




















































































Fig. 4. 

. 5. 

Fig. 5 illustrates a coin using the third method of dating. This coin is a 
ten-cash piece of Emperor Kwang-Hsu, dated 1906. The date characters 
are at each side of four Manchu characters at the top of obverse side. 



John G. Watson 

It is a curious fact that the history of China repeats itself at the fall of 
each dynasty. Rebels rise against the existing ruling power and in many 
cases it ends with a new line of rulers. The last revolution so far is an 
exception, out who knows; it may yet each with another dynasty. 

Of the times dealt with in this paper, the fall of the Mongol or Yuan 
dynasty and the rise of the Ming, dissatisfaction had been rampant at the 
bad government of the Chinese by the later Mongol emperors. The foreign 
yoke had to be removed (the Mongols were really foreigners), and, after 
much bloodshed, the fall of the Mongol dynasty was finally brought about. 
This was accomplished by a young Chinese named Chu, the son of a laborer 
who had joined the rebels. He had been a delicate boy and unfitted for 
heavy work, so his father sent him to a monastery to be educated- He soon 
became tired of this inactive life and eventually enlisted in the Imperial 
army as a soldier. He made rapid progress and soon attained a position of 
high rank. About this time he married a rich widow who belonged to a 
family that had rebelled against the Government. Soon after this an in- 
surrection broke out at Nanking, and, due to the influence of his wife, he 
was chosen leader by the rebels. He was so popular that thousands nocked 
to his standard, and finally he was the means of vanquishing the last Mongol 
emperor. He styled himself Prince Wu, and during his campaign, about 
1634 A. D., caused money to be cast, the inscription on which is shown by. 
Pig. 1. These were made in different sizes, the largest measuring one and 
a half inches diameter, and the smallest seven-eighths of an inch. The 
larger were cast at Nanking, while the smaller ones were made in the prov- 
inces. The obverse inscription (Pig. 1) reads (top, bottom, right, left): 
"Ta Chung T'Ung Pao" (Currency of the Great Chung). Some of the re- 
verses are plain, while others have provincial mint marks or marks of value. 

Finally, in 1368 A. D., Chu was declared Emperor with the title of Hung 
Wu. He had made up his mind to call the new dynasty the Ta Chung, but 
we read that the advice of the Heavens was invoked and it was ultimately 
decided to adopt the dynastic title of Ta Ming (The Great Brightness). 

Nanking was settled on as the capital and seat of government. A great 
issue of coins was made, the main characters on which are illustrated by 
Pig. 2, reading top, bottom, "Hung Wu." 

It will be observed that from Pig. 2 onwards I have omitted the two char- 
acters T'Ung Pao (currency), which should appear at right and left of the 
illustrations; their place is taken by the symbol # . Be it understood that 
these two characters have appeared on Chinese coins from the T'Ang dynasty, 
618 A. D., and were still used up to the time of the republic. 

The Hung Wu coins are of various sizes according to their value, which 
is clearly marked in native characters on the reverse. The largest is a piece 
of ten cash and measures one and seven-eighths inches diameter; that of 
five cash, one and five-eighths inches; the three cash, one and one-quarter 
inches; the two cash, one and one-eighth inches, while the one cash is but 
seven-eighths of an inch diameter. 

It is to be noted that commencing with the Ming dynasty the Nien-Hao or 
period was change only on the accession of a new emperor. Dr. Morrison, 
in his "Chinese Chronology," says: "The emperors of China, besides their 
proper names, take a title when they ascend the throne. This title is called 
their Nien-Hao, in assuming which they employ characters which denote 
something felicitous. By the Nien-Hao they are generally mentioned when 
quoting them for merely chronological purposes; previous to the Ming 
dynasty, many of the emperors changed their Nien-Hao several times during 
the period of one reign." 

Hung Wu reigned for thirty-one years (1368-1399), and by his beneficent 
ruling much of the distress caused by the later emperors of the Yuan 
dynasty had been remedied. In the year 1370 A. D. the Emperor summoned 
to his presence the ministers of the late dynasty and questioned them regard- 
ing their failures in administration. Fung Yih, one of the ministers replied: 
"Yuan obtained possession of the empire by clemency, and by clemency lost 
it." The Emperor said in answer: "I have heard only of clemency being 
the means of obtaining possession of a people; I have not heard of clemency 












-n 3 








being the means of losing them. He who walks hastily will stumble; the 
bow-string drawn violently will break; and people pressed hard will rebel. 
Those who occupy high stations ought, in an especial manner, to exercise 
clemency. Your late sovereign was given up to indulgence and pleasure; he 
lost his empire by remissness, but no means from clemency." 

The Emperor -had evidently little faith in his own immediate family, as, 
when dying in 1399, he left his throne to his grandson, Hui Ti, who was 
only sixteen years of age. This raised the ire of the Prince of Yen, who 
considered himself the rightful heir to the throne. He formed a rebellious 
army and captured the capital, Nanking, and fired the royal palace, while 
the Queen and many others perished in the flames. The youthful Emperor 
managed to get to a remote part of the palace grounds, where he donned the 
robes of a Bhuddist monk and escaped. He was not heard of for thirty 
years, when he was accidently discovered through a poem he had written. 
The inscription on the coins of Hui Ti is illustrated by Pig. 3, which reads: 
"Chien Wen" (his Nien-Hao). He reigned only for a little over three years 
(1399-1403} and the coins are somewhat scarce. 

The Prince of Yen then assumed the throne as the Emperor Ch'Eng Tsu, 
and took as his Nien-Hao, Yung Lo, which appears on the coins, Fig. 4. 
Although very cruel, he proved himself a very able ruler and was able to 
maintain peace by repelling the marauding Mongols and Japanese raiders. 
In 1421 he made Pekin his capital, which he had greatly enlarged and 
adorned with altars and temples. He was also responsible for the produc- 
tion of an encyclopaedia in 11,095 volumes! His reign came to an end in 
1425; he had ruled for twenty-two years (1403-1425). His coins are 

The next emperor was Jen Tsung, but as he reigned only a few months, 
between 1425-1426 A. D., the coinage is rather scarce. The inscription, 
"Hung Hsi," is shown by Fig. 5. 

He was succeeded by Hsuan Tsung, 1426-1436 A. D., with the title Hsuan 
Te. It is to be noted that the world-famed Ming porcelain, bronze work, 
lacquer, etc., reached a high state of perfection during his rule. Fig. 6 rep- 
resents the characters on his coins, and they are easy to procure. 

Ying Tsung, who followed in 1436, had rather a curious experience. Be- 
ing harassed by the Mongols, he proceeded to repel them. Accompanied by 
a eunuch called Wang Chen and a large army he sallied forth against the 
enemy. But he was unfortunate. Wang was killed, the army routed and the 
Emperor taken into captivity, where he was held for several years. Coins 
were issued with his title, "Cheng Tsung." See Fig. 7. 

In the meantime his brother, Ching Ti (1450-1457) occupied the throne, 
but refused to abdicate on the return of Ying Tsung from capitivity. Coins 
of Ching Ti are rather scarce They are illustrated, or at least the inscrip- 
tion showing his title, "Ching T'Ai," by Fig. 8. 

On his death, in 1457, Ying Tsung resumed the throne with the title of 
"T'len Shun" and continued till 1465. Up to this time former Ming emper- 
ors on death had a number of their concubines bured alive in their tombs, 
but Ying Tsung ordered that none of his should be so treated. Coins issued 
after his re-accession are rare. The inscription on these, "T'len Shun," is 
illustrated by Fig. 9. 

The next emperor was Hsien Tsung (1465-1488). His coins are rather 
scarce. The inscription "Ch'Eng Hua" gives his Nien-Hao and is shown in 
Fiff 1 

He was followed by Hsiao Tsung (1488-1506). Under this Emperor the 
Ming dynasty was at its zenith; peace and prosperity was over the country 
and the people were settled in various vocations. It was during this reign 
that America was discovered by Columbus. He had set out with the inten- 
tion of making for China, the fame of which country had reached Europe, 
but missed it and found America instead. Some years later Cabot suppose- 
edly set sail with the same intention, but landed in North America. This 
Emperor bore the title of Hung Chih, which is the inscription used on his 
coins and illustrated by Fig. 11, 

His son Wu Tsung (1506-1522), fifteen years of age, succeeded. From 
now on we begin to see the decline of this real Chinese dynasty. Owing to 
the youth of the new Emperor, an unscrupulous eunuch, Liu Chin by name, 
took charge of the Government and punished, with great cruelty, all opposi- 
tion to his rule Civil war followed, Liu Chin was murdered and the flesh 


torn from his bones by the enraged populace. It is to be noted that during 
this reign European traders first got a footing in the Celestial Kingdom. To 
the Portuguese is the credit for this, although many of the pioneers met 
with terrible sufferings; in several cases death or imprisonment was their 
lot. The Nien-Hao of Wu Tsung was Cheng Te, which is shown by Fig. 12. 
His coins are rather scarce. 

The next emperor, Shih Tsung (1522-1567), was a grandson of Hsien 
Tsung and had a long reign, forty-five years. His were troublous times, 
however, Mongols constantly making desolation in the North, while the Japa- 
nese kept raiding the coast. In connection with this rather an interesting 
historical fact is brought to light and shows us the first time the Chinese 
used muskets. It appears that some Japanese prisoners had been taken 
with their muskets and leaden bullets, and they were forthwith ordered to 
teach the Chinese the use of these arms. This ruler's title was Chia Ching 
and is shown by the two characters illustrated by Fig. 13. 

Mu Tsung (1567-1573) was next Emperor, with the title of Lung Ch'Ing, 
Fig. 14. Coins were issued and are fairly plentiful. 

On his death the throne was assumed by Shen Tsung (1573-1620), who 
had a long and very troublesome reign. It is now that begins the first wars 
which ended in the overthrow of the Ming dynasty. It happened in this 
way: The Mings had killed the grandfather of Nurhachu (a Manchu prince), 
for which he swore revenge on the Mings. He wrote down seven grievances, 
which are too long to quote here, but the following extract, translated by 
Dr. Morrison from the Tung Hua Luh, may be interesting: "Ere my grand- 
father had injured a blade of grass, or occupied an inch of ground that be- 
longed to Ming, Ming causelessly commenced hostilities and injured him. 
This is the first thing to be revenged." Then follow the other grievances 
and winds up with: "To revenge these seven injuries I now go forth to sub- 
jugate the dynasty Ming/' And he forthwith headed 20,000 horse and foot. 

The coins of Shen Tsung, whose title was Wan Li, which characters are 
shown in Fig. 15. After a period of plain reverses we now get some with 
Kung (Board of Works), while others have marks of value, Fen (canda- 
reen) . 

Kwang Tsung (1620-1621) reigned but a short time, so his coins are con- 
sequently rather scarce. His title, T'Ai Ch'Ang, which appears on the coins, 
is shown by Fig. 16. 

The next Emperor, Hsi Tsung (1621-1628), whose issue of coins was more 
extensive and variable in size, are much more easy to procure. The inscrip- 
tion is shown on Fig. 17, and reads: "T'len Chi." The reverse of the small- 
er pieces are either plain or have Hu (Board of Revenue), or Kung (Board 
of Works), and in one instance Yun, meaning that it was made in Yunnan 
province. The larger pieces measure one and seven-eighths inches diameter 
and have two different reverses, one has "Shih" ("ten" cash) above the 
square hole, and a dot below; the other has "Shih" above the hole and "One 
Liang" (in Chinese characters) to right of hole. 

The last and sixteenth Emperor of the dynasty was called Chuang Lieh Ti 
(1628-1644). In the early part of his reign rebellion broke out in Honan 
and Shensi provinces, and to the end of his time the country was ravaged 
by rebels and the Imperial army. The Emperor had a very sad end. It 
appears that one of the Chinese generals had turned traitor and opened one 
of the Pekin gates to the rebels. His Majesty refused to escape and retired 
to one of the hills in the palace grounds and, after writing a pathetic mes- 
sage, hanged himself. So ended the Great Ming dynasty, which had ruled 
the country for nearly three hundred years. 

Coins of this reign are plentiful and present a great variety of reverses. 
Some are plain, others have provincial mint marks, while others again have 
marks of value. The characters on the obverse which give his Nien-Hao are 
"Ch'TJng Chen," reading top and bottom, Fig. 18. 

Note The Nien-Hao are all given with inverted commas. 




David M. Bullowa 

The first coinage for Finland as a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire ap- 
pears in the reign of the Czar Alexander II (1855-81). The coinage prior 
to that period had been identical with the Russian system, although Finland 
at no time used the paper currency which circulated in Russia 

The Finnish system was based upon the mark, which corresponded to the 
French franc. As a result, although no 5-mark piece was issued, the fol- 
lowing denominations were coined: 

Gold: 20 and 10 markkaa 

Silver: 2 and 1 markkaa, and 50 and 25 pennia 

Copper: 10, 5 and 1 pennia 

The obverse of the gold coins bore the crowned imperial Russian eagle, 
with the names at left and right, respectively: FINLAND STJOMI, the latter 
name being the Finnish name for the country. The reverse bears the value 

and date in the center, with the weight and fineness surrounding. The edge 
is reeded, and the coins have the mint letter S, denoting Helsingfors, or 

The silver coins were similar in type to the gold, the inscriptions and 
weights varying. The coinage was not struck in each year; in fact, the 
coinage of gold did not commence until 1878, after Finland, with the ap- 
proval of the Emperor, had adopted a system virtually the same as that 
of the Latin Monetary Union. 

The earliest silver coins were struck in 1864. In the year 1866, pattern 
issues were coined in the 20-pennia value, silver, and the 2 pennia value in 
copper. There are also trial pieces of 1863 of a 20 pennia in copper and a 
10 and 5 pennia. 

Gold was struck from 1878 to 1882, in 1891 and 1903-04, and in 1910-13, 
inclusive. The reverse of the gold types is similar, but the obverses vary in 
that the latter issues have a somewhat larger eagle. Silver coinage was struck 
from 1864 to 1876, and again from 1889 to 1894. Also 1897-9 and 1901-2, 
1905-13, 1915-17. 

The copper series were struck quite regularly: 1864-7, 1869-76, 1881- 
1909, 1911-12, 1914-15, and 1917. 

The copper coins had upon the obverse the crowned monogram of the 
Emperor, and upon the reverse the value and date within a wreath. Three 
monograms or royal cyphers are found: A II (1855-81), A III (1881-94), 
and N II (1894-1917). 

The law establishing the standard for Finnish silver coinage is dated 12 


June, 1860. The law for the gold is 9 August, 1877. In the early period of 
the Russian-Finnish coinage the relationship was very conveniently worked 
out so that 4 Finnish markkaa equalled one ruble in value. (This is the 
78c. ruble.) 

At the turn of the century, according to Engel and Serrure, the Russian 
Government took steps to end the autonomy of Finland, and with it the 
separate coinage. The coinage under Nicholas II was very limited. 

The Russian Imperial system underwent a drastic change in the year 1895, 
when the gold value of the ruble was changed. Values were increased by 
one-third. The Finnish system was not affected by this at all, since it was 
not related to the Russian, and maintained reserves of its own. 

In the course of the World War, when the Russian Imperial Government 
had been swept away, the old and new coinages of the Finnish Government 
are most extraordinary. Similar in type, with only a change in detail, they 
are unusual to compare. 

The 1917 25 pennia, 50 pennia, silver, as well as the 10 pennia copper, 
are known in two varieties with a crown, and without a crown. The im- 
perial eagle, bearing the shield with the Finnish lion remained on both 
issues, as did the scepter and orb in the talons of the eagle. Only the im- 
perial crown and the two smaller crowns on the heads of the double-headed 
eagle had been removed. 

This is perhaps one of the few instances, if not the only, when a radical 
change in the form of government caused such a minor coinage change. 

In 1918 a Bolshevist counter revolution gained momentary headway, and 
in the few months in which it held power coined a 5-pennia piece, bearing 
upon the obverse a group of trumpets, with a banner in the background. 
It was issued under act of May 27, 1918. The obverse has the usual de- 
nomination surrounded by two rosettes. 

The Republic Issues. 

The issues of the Republic were coined in gold, silver, nickel and copper, 
as well as aluminum-bronze. The gold coinage was only in 1926, and the 
silver coinage only in 1917, of the type with the Imperial crown removed. 

The coinage of nickel was authorized in an act of 23 December, 1920. 
The obverse of the coins of the Republic, of the first issue, bore a rampant 
lion, crowned, holding a sword, and standing upon the larger sword. There 
are nine rosettes in the background. The date is at the sides. The copper 
values are the 1, 5 and 10 penni. 

The nickel 25 and 50 pennia show a similar reverse, but the obverse 
has the value in the center with two beards of wheat at the sides. The 
1 markkaa shows the value between pine branches. At a later date the size 
of the 1 markkaa was reduced three millimeters in diameter. 

According to the authority granted in a law of 27 April, 1928, the coinage 
of aluminum-bronze 5, 10 and 20 markkaa pieces was authorized. These 

issues, dated after 1928 but first struck in 1929, show the Finnish lion on a 
shield, with pine branches crossed behind. The date is below. On the 
reverse the value is shown within a pine-branch wreath. 

Finnish gold of the Republic, is dated only 1926, although all of the 100 
markkaa pieces were coined in 1927. These gold pieces, issued under a 
law of December 21, 1925, provided that 1 markkaa was equal in value to 
0.1305 of the former markkaa's value in gold. As already noted, the two 
gold coins of the Republic are the 100 and 200 markkaa values. The 

obverse shows the crowned lion, previously described, and the reverse the 
value in the center with markkaa surrounded by two pine branches. 

A 50-markkaa silver piece was contemplated to be issued as a commemo- 
rative for the Olympic Games of 1940, to be held at Helsinki, but the war 
interfered with this project. 

The coinage of Finland following the war has been struck at Birmingham, 
Copenhagen, and Helsingfors (Helsinki). 

A partial set, exhibiting the various types of coins, is shown herewith. 


John S. Davenport 

Caesar's land of the Belgae became pretty much of a political football 
before it finally emerged into what we know today as the Kingdom of Bel- 
gium. Rome, Clovis, Charlemagne -each in turn governed it; France and 
Germany battled over it until it became a part of the Burgundian empire 
in 1384. Then for several centuries it passed back and forth between 
Austria and Spain. Finally the seven northern provinces revolted under 
William the Silent, Prince of Orange, and became the independent country 
of the United Netherlands. When the French Revolution occurred the 
southern provinces belonged to Austria, but in the year following 1790 
they declared their independence. This proved a short-lived state, however, 
as in 1794 French armies overran the territory. When Napoleon was safely 
settled in St. Helena and the powers were in the process of turning back the 
European clock and undoing all that had been changed in the preceding 
twenty-five years, Belgium was handed over to King William I of Holland. 
The move was an unhappy one, for while the inhabitants of the provinces 
bordering on Holland were related to the people of the Netherlands racially, 
they were predominantly Catholic in contrast to the Protestant citizens of 
the Low Countries. William, narrow and obstinate, showed no willingness 
nor ability in handling the problems which arose in his new possession. 
The Belgians stood it for fifteen years, but when bad became steadily worse, 
they revolted in August of 1830. A national congress met on November 10, 
1830, declared the provinces independent, chose as the government a con- 
stitutional monarchy, and excluded the House of Orange. The great powers, 
who had been undecided whether to aid 'William in bringing the rebels to 
terms, decided, when the type of government was announced, to let things 
take their course; so the new nation was recognized on December 20, 1830. 
It was not until eight years later, however, that Holland and Belgium 
achieved a lasting peace and understanding. 

The search for a king ended on June 4, 1831, when Prince Leopold George 
of Coburg was appointed monarch. He entered upon his duties in July. 
Leopold, who was then 41, had in 1816 married the Princess Charlotte, 
daughter and heir of the then Prince of Wales, who later became George IV 
of England. Had his wife survived the birth of their child in 1817, Leopold 


might have occupied in England the position his nephew Albert was to 
occupy in later years as husband of Queen Victoria that of Prince Consort. 
Leopold married a second time in 1832. the Princess Louise of Orleans, 
eldest daughter of Kins' Louis Philippe of France. 

1S50 Five Francs, Marriage of Duke and Duchess. 

The elder son of this marriage, Leopold, Duke of Brabant, was born in 
1835. His marriage at the age of eighteen to a Habsburg princess, Marie- 
Henriette of Lorraine-Austria, was the occasion for the first set of commemo- 
rative coins. None of the three coins, in gold, silver, and copper, bears an 
indication of value. The gold and silver are of the same size and exactly 
alike except for metal. On the obverse is a head of Leopold I to the left 
with the inscription "Leopold Premier Roi des Beiges," and on the reverse 
around the conjoined busts of the royal newlyweds runs the legend "L. L. 
Ph. M. V. Due de Brabant M. H. A, Duchesse de Brabant 21-22 Aout 1853." 
The edge legend reads "Dieu Protege La Belgique." These are, respectively, 
of 100-franc and 5-franc size. The name of the designer, Leopold Wiener, 
appears on both sides. The copper piece, of 10-centime size, is similar, 
except that on the obverse a beaded border encloses the legend and the 
date has been moved here from the reverse. The number of specimens 
minted is reported to be 300 in gold, 31,739 in silver, and 60,000 in copper. 

For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reign of Leopold I in 1856 five 
different pieces were issued. Like the preceding set none of these bears 
indication of value. All seem to be in the class of official medals which 
circulated as currency. The obverse of all five is the same a seated 
female figure crowned, with sceptre in one hand and palm branch in the 
other. In the background on a pedestal is a bust of the king and in the 
exergue the date "21 July 1856." On the reverse of the first series, which. 
comes in gold, silver, and copper all the same size with values according 
to the corresponding sizes in the regular series of 40 francs, 2 francs, and 
5 centimes, is the, inscription within a laurel wreath, "Twenty-fifth Anni- 
versary of the Inauguration of the King." The gold piece has the legend 
in French. Of the silver and copper pieces there are two issues each, one 
with legend in French, the other in Flemish. The other two pieces of 

1856 Five Centimes, Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Reig-n. 

silver and copper are the same size with the same obverse. On the reverse 
within a circle of stars is the inscription: "Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the 
Inauguration of the Reign of Leopold I, King of the Belgians." In the outer 
band is a longer inscription reading in translation: "First Silver Extracted 
From Belgian Mines by the Society of Membach Under the Patronage of 


tlie General Society for the Furthering of National Industry." The last 
two jetons have French inscriptions. 

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of independence three silver 
coins of two designs appeared. The piece of 5-franc size, which again indi- 
cates no denomination on either face, has on the obverse conjoined busts 
to the right of Leopold I and Leopold II, who had succeeded his father on 

1861 Two Francs, Visit at the Mint. 

the throne in 1865. The inscription runs "Leopold I * Leopold II" with 
tne designer's name, "Leop. Wiener," below. The reverse bears In the exergue 
tne name of Wiener's son, "Charles Wiener," who designed this face: A 
standing female figure, who bears in her right arm a tablet labeled "Constitu- 
tion Beige," leans upon the Belgian lion seated at her left. In the back- 
ground on the left in front of a rayed sun is the Column of Congress erected 
in Brussels to commemorate the founding of the kingdom; and on the right is 
the handsome Palace of Justice, also in Brussels. The dates "1830-1SSO" 
appear above. The smaller silver pieces are alike and have the same obverse 

1880 Two Francs, Fiftieth Anniversary of Kingdom, 1830-1880. 

as the 5-franc coin. On the reverse the arms of the kingdom, a rampant 
lion on shield under crown, above crossed sceptres ornately arranged, divides 
the value, either 2 francs or 1 franc. Above is "Royaume de Belgique," 
and below, the anniversary dates, "1830-1880." 

Fifty years passed before the next commemorative appeared to mark the 
centennial of independence. Albert had succeeded his uncle, Leopold II, 
as king in 1909. The conjoined busts of Belgium's three kings during her 
century of independence with names above form the obverse design of the 

1930 Ten Francs, Pure Nickel. Centennial of the Kingdom, 1830-1930. 

single coin issued for the occasion. Below are the dates, "1830-1930." On 
the reverse between upright sprays of leaves is the inscription: "Kingdom 
of Belgium" "10 francs" (or 2 belgas). Since 1886 most of the coins of 
the realm have appeared with inscriptions in the two languages spoken in 


Belgium, and this coin has two varieties, one in French and one in Flemish. 
The metal is nickel. 

The latest Belgian commemorative, a handsome piece of 50 francs in 
silver, was issued on the occasion of the Exposition in Brussels in 1935 and 
to mark the centenary of the Belgian railroads. Again there were two issues 
alike except for the inscriptions in the two languages. On the obverse the 
Archangel St. Michael tramples on a prostrate Satan (the arms of the city 
of Brussels). The angel's figure divides a large "50 PR." The legend 
reads: "Kingdom of Belgium Exposition of Brussels." On the reverse 
below the centennial dates, "1835-1935," is the imposing Brussels railway 
station. Here the legend runs: "Centenary of Belgian Railroads," The 
designer's name, "Wissaert," appears at lower left, and the edge inscription 
reads: "Under the Reign of Leopold III," (who had succeeded to the throne 
on his father's tragic death in 1934), This, the first 50-franc piece in 
silver struck by Belgium, is a little smaller than the pre-war 5 franc coin. 


Joseph F. Sawicki 

The lands occupied by the Poles were peopled long before the Grecian 
and Roman era by an Arian race that had migrated from Central Asia. 
This is true of nearly all European people. The country at that time was 
generally referred to as Sarmatia, the southeastern part of which became 
a Greek province known as Olbia. 

This province struck its own coinage from the third to the first century 
B. C. The majority of the coins struck were bronze. A few specimens 
found were in silver and gold. The bronze coins were cast pieces of various 
sizes, some as large as the largest Roman aes grave. On the obverse was 
the head o-f Athena Gorgoneion or Hercules; on the reverse, a wheel, a 
sea eagle with or without dolphin, or prow of a boat. 

Prior to this time, however, coinage of earlier periods had been circulated 
in ancient Sarmatia, as is evidenced by numerous discoveries of Greek 
tetradrachms and Celtic ring money dating back to the sixth century B. C. 
This indicates that the culture of ancient Sarmatians, the forefathers of 
present-day Poles, was apparently in an advanced state and that trade 
relations were highly developed. 

The next numismatic period in Sarmatia makes its appearance in the 
second century A. D. and continues to the time of Constantine the Great. 
It consists mainly of denarii of Trajan, Hadrian and Antoninus and reaches 
its peak in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, as is evidenced by the large 
amounts of denarii and large bronzes tha+ have been, from time to time dis- 
covered in various parts of Poland. 

Soon thereafter trade between Rome and Sarmatia apparently ceased, 
as no Roman coins of later periods have been found in Poland. For that 
matter, trade in Sarmatia seemed to have ceased for several centuries and 
was not revived until the sixth century. 

From 600 A. D. until the year 1000, considerable trade was carried on 
between Poland and Arabian, Byzantine, English, German, Danish and 
other Scandinavian people. Large hoards of Byzantine solid! and Arabian, 
dirhems have been found, together with English, German, Danish and other 
Scandinavian coins, the latter of the ninth and tenth centuries. 

With the selection of Mieczyslaw as the first king of Poland, the use of 
foreign coinage ceased, and in 965 Poland commenced to issue her own 
money. The coinage consisted of silver denars and half denars or obols. 


The monetary standard, for purposes of trade, was called "Grzywna," 
m 5 Z% gh ^ b ? Ut t 36 ! srams - or tne eautvalent of the Carolinian pound. 
SiniSSi t ^ % y , d na constituted the monetary standard, which 
continued to be m effect during the reign of the first two Polish kings 

half Its welsht> and this prevalled unt11 the 


At tills time let us pause for a moment and take cognizance of the rather 
unusual and highly important events that took place in the newly established 
Kingdom of Poland and which left a lasting imprint upon the character of 
its people and upon the future history of Europe. 

After the death of Mieczyslaw I in 992, Poland was divided among his 
four sons. Boleslaw, the ablest of the brothers, soon perceived that the 
prestige of Poland began to wane. He decided to remove his weakling 
brothers and take the- reins of government in his own strong hands 
Naturally, there was opposition to this plan, not only 011 the part of his 
brothers but also on the part of avaricious neighbors who were gazing upon 
this rich land with greedy eyes. 

At the head of only 15,000 knights, Boleslaw succeeded in deteating his 
brothers and their allies and in extending the boundaries of Poland from 
the Baltic Sea on the north to the Black Sea on the south, and established 
the western borders in the vicinity of the present day Berlin, while the 
Eastern boundaries were near Moscow. In his triumphal march of con- 
quest he subdued all his enemies, including the powerful Bohemian nation. 
He thus created one of the largest and most powerful states in Europe, 
which he ruled for 25 years until his death. He refused the kingly crown 
offered him by Otto, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and by his own 
decree crowned himself King of Poland at Gniezno (Gnesen) in the year 
1025. Thus was witnessed an incident that had no parallel in European 
history until 800 years later, when Napoleon, at his coronation ceremony, 
took the crown from the Pope's hands and placed it upon his head. 

"The self-crowning of Boleslaw was typical of the Polish spirit, even 
in the face of many perils. There was in this a strange, unbelievable 
daring. The Polish country, an open land, was surrounded by enemies, 
Teutonic and Slavic. It was exposed to the advancing, threatening 
rush of Tartar tribes from the eastern steppes. Amalgamation with 
the Holy Roman Empire might seem a natural preservative policy. 

"But it was part of Poland's destiny always to cling to her own 
individuality, and she did this from the tenth century to the twentieth." 
C. O. Cameron, on New Poland. 

For a period of 1000 years, from Charlemagne to Napoleon, no militar> 
genius surpassed Boleslaw the Great. When one considers that he had at 
his command a mere handful of soldiers and the slim financial resources of 
a nation in its infancy, and compares him with Napoleon, who had armies 
of a million men and the resources of a nation 1000 years old, truly one 
must pause and wonder in amazement at the military genius of this mighty 
King whom dim past seems to have neglected. It was during his reign that 
the citizens of Dantzic were persuaded by him to embrace Christianity. 

Following his death there was a slight change in the monetary system 
in Poland, in this, that a new coinage, braeteats, extremely thin, uniface, 
silver coins made their appearance. These braeteats, and the slightly thicker 
denars, were struck not only by the Polish Kings but also by various 
Bishoprics and local princes until the end of the thirteenth century. 

With the monetary reforms taking place in Bohemia, Poland commenced 
to issue money of a larger and heavier type. The issue of braeteats ceased, 
and the large grossus and half grossus made their appearance. About this 
time, an effort was made to issue gold coins resembling in appearance Floren- 
tine ducats. But after a while the striking of gold coins was abandoned 
and not resumed again until the reign of Zygmunt (Sigismund) I, in the 
year 1528. The Polish ducats or aureuii, as they were later called, con- 
tained 3*^ grams of 23% carat gold. Besides the ducats there were later 
struck 2 ducats, 4 ducats, 5 ducats and 10 ducats, the latter sometimes 
called portugals. 

C. O. Cameron on The New Poland says: 


"After the Tartar invasion about 1250 had been swept away, Conrad 
of Poland forgot the early dangers from the German arms, and himself 
invited the German Knights of the Cross to settle in his dominions. 
The avowed task of these knights, who settled on the coasts of the 
Baltic, was partly helping to convert the pagan Lettish tribes. But the 
knightly forces grew into an aggressive temporal organization. 

"The Polish dukes showed no advanced fear of the Teutonic knights, 
until all at once these swordsmen rushed out of their assigned terri- 
tories and battled successfully to wrest from Poland sections of the 
present East and West Prussia. 

"They then struck to the south. But by this time Wladislaw, King of 
Poland, had reunited his forces and the divided country, and was able 
to defeat them and drive them back." 

During the reign of Karzmierz Wielki, (Casimir the Great), 1330 to 1370, 
new mints were established in varioxis parts of the kingdom, so, besides 
the crown or royal mint at Krakow, mints were operated in Kalisz, Poznan 
(Poaeii), and Lwow (Lremberg) and in adjacent provinces of Silesia, Masovia 
and Kujawy. 

The Kalisz and Poznan mints confined themselves to the issue of small 
denarii, the obverse of which bore the title of the King along the border, 
while the reverse bore the arms and the name of the city, with the Polish 
eagle in the center. 

The Krakow mint issued only the large grossus pieces which had a crown 
in the center and the following inscription around the outer circle, "Dei 
Gratia Rex Polonie," "By Grace of God, King of Poland," and the inner 
circle had "Primus Kazimirus," "Casimir the First." The reverse bore a 
large eagle, with outspread wings facing left, and the legend "Grossi 
Cracoviensis," "Cracow Grossus." 

The Lemberg mint issued silver 4-gros coins and also small bronze pieces 
which were used as a medium of exchange in Ruthenia. 

During his reign he built cities of stone and marble and established the 
famous university at Cracow in the year 1360. Copernicus, the great 
astronomer, was a product of this famous institution of learning. 

With the death of Casimir the Great, the Piast dynasty ended. It had 
ruled over Poland from 840 A. D. until 1370, a period of over 500 years. 

In 1384, Jadwiga (Hedwig), daughter of Louis Anjou, King of Poland 
and Hungary, (1370 to 1382), was elected to the Polish throne. Though 
she ruled but two short years, and struck very few small denarii with the 
letter H upon the obverse, it is of interest to note that her short reign had 
a great and lasting influence on the future of Poland and of Europe. 

She was a young, sweet, charming girl, engaged to be married to the 
Hapsburg Crown Prince William at the time she was called to the Polish 

East of Poland was the vast domain of the Pagan. Lithuanians, a warlike 
people, who for centuries had resisted the armies of Russia, Turkey, and 
the Teutonic Knights of the Cross. Jagiello, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, 
sought the hand of Queen Jadwiga through the medium of Polish noblemen, 
and promised to embrace Christianity with his people and to unit Lithuania 
and Poland. The proposal was hailed with acclaim. Here was an oppor- 
tunity to secure a strong ally and acquire a vast domain. All that remained 
to culminate this alliance was the consent of the young Queen. At first she 
vehemently rejected all advances in that direction, for she was deeply in 
love with William. But after numerous appeals from leading noblemen and 
prelates begging her on bended knees to make this sacrifice for the sake 
of the nation of which she was the Queen, she finally yielded, making the 
sacrifice of her heart upon the altar of national duty. 

Through this marriage Jagiello became King of Poland, and his people 
embraced Christianity. Lithuania was united with Poland, which union 
lasted until Poland's dismemberment in 1795. 

C. O. Cameron on The New Poland, says: 

"It required two centuries and many conventions to cement the union 
between Poland and Lithuania. But in tbe meantime there had been 
other accretions to the Polish territory West Prussia, Pomerania, 
Livonia, Courland. 


"In each of these cases there was no war of conquest, but a voluntary 
application by the affected states for a union with the Polish state. 
Family connections made possible temporary unions between Poland 
and Hungary, but none of these continued." 

He further adds: 

"The Teutonic Knights were at first an order of Knightly Mission- 
aries, invited into the Polish regions on the Baltic to convert the 
pagan Letts. They soon ceased missionary activity and built up a 
powerful armed state, which grew in the course of later centuries into 
the Kingdom of Prussia. 

*'At one time, while the Teutonic Knights were gaining more and 
more territory in the Polish dominions, it looked as if Poland was 
doomed to be Germanized. Teutonic immigration was enormous. 
Agents, spies, intriguers, plotters, Germanizers, all were everywhere. 
Wladislaw Lokietek nevertheless rallied the Polish people to give the 
Teutonic Knights a great check. However, Casimir the Great, working 
to unify the Polish people within, made territorial concessions to the 
Teutonic Knights. 

"Wladislaw Jagiello made an alliance with Lithuania against the 
Knights. The Teutons strove to divide and break this alliance. But 
all the Teuton conspiracies of that day failed, the two lands merged 
into a dual alliance, and at Grunwald in 1410 they broke the power 
of the Teutonic Knights in one terrific battle." 

Sienkiewicz, in his "Knights of the Cross," English translation, drama- 
tically describes this great conflict, and Jan Matejko, in his famous painting, 
"Grunwald/* immortalizes the martial scene. 

Denarius of Marcus Aurelius, struck about 169 A. D. 

Perhaps the spectre of another "Grunwald" is causing a certain ESuropean 
leader to pause and hesitate before taking a plunge that might prove to be 
disastrous. , _ 

During Jagiello's reign (1386-1434) coins were struck for the Crown 
lands and for Lithuania and Ruthenia. The coins, struck at the Crown 
mint in Krakow, have a large crown on the obverse, with the name of the 
king, and the Polish eagle on the reverse. 

December 23, 176 A. D. 

The Ruthenian coins usually contain the letter 'R on the eagle's Jreast, 
the eagle being on the obverse, and a charging lion, the crest of Ruthenia, 
together with the title of the King of Poland, on the reverse. 

For this period the coat-of-arms of Poland was changed to include that 
of Lithuania. Another change taking place at this time was that Polish 
coins thereafter Had on their reverse an eagle with outspread wings in the 
uD^er left and lower right; a mounted knight in the upper right and lower 
left of the shield, the whole being surmounted by a large crown. 


During the next reign additional mints were opened in Gdansk 
(Dantzic) Torun (Thorn), Elblag (Elbing), and Krolewiec (Konigsburg) . 

Since this period, the Dantzic mint continued in operation, practically 
without interruption, until 1792. 

With the ascendency to the Polish throne of Sigismund (Zygmunt), 1506- 
1548, the coinage of Poland underwent many changes and reforms. The 
dating of coins began with the year 1506, the style became more artistic, 
three gros and six-gros pieces made their appearance, and gold coins were 

Larg-e Bracteat for Silesia, about 1250. 

His son, Sigismund August, became King of Poland 1548 to 1573. This 
period marked religious conflicts in practically every country except Poland. 

C. O. Cameron on The New Poland, says: 

"I am not king of your consciences!" declared King Sigismund 
Augustus to the people of Poland after he had mounted the throne 
of the Jagellons in 1548. 

"One year before King Sigismund Augustus was crowned, Henry VIII 
of England had died. Henry VIII indeed claimed to be king of his 
people's consciences. No monarch of England or any other Christian 
land save Russia ever claimed such sway over the faith of his subjects. 
"Yet in that century, King Sigismund Augustus of Poland was a 
greater monarch than King Henry of England. The Polish monarch 
was the most powerful of his line, one of the most powerful of his time. 
He saw realms added to his realm. Under his sway the union with 
Lithuania was finally made complete. Livonia came freely into the 
unity of the Polish state before his death. If ever a king seemed to 
have power to control his people and enforce his will, that king was 
Sigismund Augustus. 

"And he did control his people, and enforce his will, but not by 
trying to override religious liberty. He saw instead an intense demand 
among his people for religious liberty. He saw also how other Euro- 
pean realms were splitting and burning with religious hatreds." 
During the reign of Stefan Batory (157G-1587) the Baltic states of 
Livonia and Courlandia joined Poland in a voluntary union. Additional 
mints were established at Revel, Riga and Marienburg. The Revel mint 
struck thin coins called solidi, and Riga struck both solid! and three-gros 

Half Grow of Sig-ismund I, 1510, for Lithuania. 

The coins had a large Polish eagle on the obverse, and the title of the 
King, together with the name and arms of their city, on the reverse 

The mints at Dantzic, Thorn and Krakow struck "dolars," "half dolars," 
"orts" or third dolars, six gros, three gros and gold ducats. 

The coins of Sigismund III, and his successors to John Casimir included 
bore the following legend: "Name of the King, by Grace of God, King of 
Poland and Sweden, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia Masovia 
Samogitia, Livonia and Courlandia." 


Poland was at the pinnacle of power, influence and opulence. Immense 
wealth flowed into her borders from all parts of the world. Merchants and 
tradesmen flocked from everywhere. Poland was referred to as the market- 
place of Europe, and her wealth compared to that of the ancient Persians. 

Grossus of Albrecht I, Margrave of Brandenburg-, Vassal of Poland, 1531. 

This was the famous Sigismundiaii-golden-era of prosperity, commencing 
with the reign of Sigismund I (about 1500) and lasting until the reign of 
John Casimir (about 1650), a period of about 150 years. 

It was during this period of prosperity that an incident took place which 
might have changed the history of not only Poland and Russia but also 
that of the world. 

Portrait Grossus of Sig-ismund, 1531. 

In 1610, when Poland was at war with Russia, King Sigismund III and 
Crown Prince Wladyslaw besieged Smolensk. Upon the Russian forces being 
defeated and Smolensk falling, the Russian nobles were so impressed with 
the martial and gallant conduct of Prince Wladyslaw that they elected him 
Czar of Russia. Zygmunt, the father, however, refused to give his consent, 
claiming that the approval of the Polish Diet was necessary. Contemporary 
observers, however, are almost unanimous in maintaining that Zygmunt's 
conduct was governed more by personal jealousy than by the law of the 
land, for he disliked the idea that his son should rule over a larger domain 
than his own. Whether that was true or not, we do not know with certainty, 
suffice it, however, that a golden opportunity was permitted to slip through 
Poland's hands. Thus, instead of Poles occupying the throne of Russia's 
Czars, the Romanoff family was selected in the year 1613 to rule Russia 
for 300 years. 

Taler of John Casimir, Oanzig-, 1649. 

The reign of Jan Karzmierz (John Casimir). 1649-1660, marked the 
decline of Poland's power and ended the rule of the famous Jagellonian 
line of kings. 


Numerous invasions of Poland by the Swedes, Cossacks, Russians, and 
Tartars, though eventually repulsed, wrought great havoc and destruction 
in the land The huge cost of the wars depleted the public treasury and 
brought about a deterioration in Poland's monetary system. 

Silver coins were of an inferior quality and vast amounts of small cop- 
pers called "boritanki," were issued. Besides these there were issued, in 
rather crude design, 30-gros pieces, called "tymfs," and very poor examples 
of 6-gros pieces. 

There was a temporary revival in Poland, during the reign of John 
Sobieski III, but the monetary system was improved very little. Two-gros 
and 4-gros pieces made their appearance, but the issuance of dollars prac- 
tically ceased. 

Three Gros of Stephen Batory, .struck at Riga, 1585. 

There were only 200 dollars struck at Gdansk in 1685, and 100 pieces 
struck at Krakow. Gold ducats were struck only at Gdansk. 

Though Sobieski's civil administration was inconspicuous, his prowess on 
the field of battle brought him and Poland great renown. His reign was 
chiefly distinguished by his preservation of Christianity in Europe through 
his historic victory over the Turks at the siege ol Vienna in 1683. 

Less than 100 years later Austria paid her debt of gratitude to Poland 
by participating in the first partition of Poland and further by taking part 
in the subsequent partitions. 

The reigns of August I, August II and Stanislaw August, the last King of 
Poland, saw a steady decline in the nation of Poland and its monetary 
system. The 1-gros pieces were now struck in bronze, and the dolar was 
reduced in size during the reign of the last King to the smaller 6 zloty. 

The money issued by Poland in 1796, is said to have been struck from 
silver-plate donated by Poland's patriot and hero, Koscmszko, who also 
took an active part in our own Revolutionary War. 

Taler of Stephan Batovy, 1585. 

From 1810 to 1814 the iipwly created Duchy of Warsaw issued grossi, 
3 grossi, zloty, 2 zloty, dolars and gold ducats. In IS 13, during the siege 
of Zamosc by the allied forces opposing Napoleon, there were issued siege 
pieces, 6 gros and 2 zloty with the following inscriptions: On the obverse, 
"Money at Siege of Zamosc 1813"; on the reverse the denomination was in 
the center, around which was inscribed "God help the Faithful of Father- 

In the year 1831, during the uprising of Poles against Russia, there were 
struck in Holland coins consisting of 3 gros, 1 zloty, 2 zloty, 5 zloty, paper 
currency of the value of 1 zloty, and a ducat of the Utrecht type. The silver 
and bronze coins bore the inscription, "Kingdom of Poland," a shield with. 


In the year 1835 the Free City of Krakow issued 5 gros, 10 gros and 
1 zloty coins. Outside of Russian coins struck for Poland there was no 
other coinage except that of 1916 to 1917, issued hy the provisional Polish 
government and followed by the present coinage of the reborn Poland The 
present monetary unit is the zloty, having a value of about 19 cents." The 
10 zloty is the largest denomination silver coin, and the smallest is the grosz 

There are also the 1 and 2 ducat coins issued in Poland. 

C. O. Cameron on the New Poland: 

"Poland was the free nation, crucified for human liberty in 1793, 
in 1831, in 1863. Had she been an autocracy, had her Diet not sought 
to free the serfs, had she not made the cause of human liberty her 
cause, there might still be kings in Poland. The autocrats of 'those 
days complained of the anarchy ol Poland. Those same tyrants hissed 
what they called the "anarchy" of Jefferson and Washington in the 
American continent. They loved the old ways, for we remember that it 
was a German prince who sold Hessian troops to fight against Ameri- 
can liberty upon this soil. This was the type of tyranny that struck at 
freedom wherever it appeared, on the banks of the Vistula or on the 
shore of New England. 

"When Poland had power and wealth, so that emperors courted her 
kings and kings sought the friendship even of Poland's noblemen, 
Poland led in the march of liberty. When Poland had great armies 
they marched to free oppressed cities from the Teutonic Knights. Or 
they marched to save Russia from Tartar tyrants. Or they hastened 
to deliver Vienna from the almost-triumphant Turk. She fought for 
liberty for a thousand years. 

"And after Poland was dismembered, her sons still rallied armies 
to fight again for liberty. 

"Through all these generations of sorrow the whole nation, silently 
or in armed ranks, has been fighting for liberty. Fighting with prayers, 
fighting with books, fighting with political organizations, they battled 
up to the breaking out of the Great War and all through the Great War 
for the ideals of their fathers. 

"A nation that has kept the faith of democracy like this will keep 
it forever. A people which has remained a people of freedom under 
the blighting reign of Czars and Kaisers will teach more freedom to 
the world under her own President. 

"It is a New Republic that now forms yonder, but an Old Nation. 
It is the same nation of freemen that dwelt serenely upon the Vistula 
centuries before the foundations of Petrograd were laid in the swamps 
of the Neva. 

"And now she is free for what? Free merely to realize the ideals 
that h-ave kept her alive. Free merely to fulfill the old liberties of 
Poland, and enrich them with all the new freedom of the Golden 
Age of Democracy." 

Aluminum Coins 

There has been much interest in recent years in the use of aluminum 
in coinage. The success of early trials has led many countries to adopt 
this metal for part of their coinage, particularly in the lower denomina- 
tions. In addition to its technical merits, aluminum has the greatest assets 
of comparative price stability and continuing availability. Excerpt from 
"Aluminum in Coins, Tokens and Medals/' The Numismatist, August, 



Gilbert S. Perez 

Next to Luzon, Mindanao is the largest island of the Philippine 
group and has an area of 36,292 square miles or just a little larger 
than the state of Indiana. The Mindanao notes, however, also circulated 
in the Sulu islands and in other adjacent island groups. 

The Mindanao emergency currency will be of special interest to 
collectors because, although it was one of the most extensive issues both 
in point of area served and in the number of notes issued, complete and 
careful data was kept of all printings in spite of the fact that the mint 
had to be constantly moved from province to province and from barrio 
to barrio. Another feature of these issues is that there were no changes 
from the original designs. Furthermore, each printing had distinctive 
control letters or numbers so that with the attached data, a foreign 
collector may easily determine in what province or barrio each Mindanao 
note was issued. 

The Guingona notes were issued before the arrival of the Japanese 
in Mindanao in 1942, while the Saguin issues circulated after the 
resistance movement was organized, 

The "Guingona" Issue 

The Guingona issue revolves around two personalities: Sam Wilson, 
a reserve lieutenant of the United States Navy, who was in charge of 
engraving and printing them and Teofisto Guingona, then Commissioner 
of Mindanao and Sulu who was also Chairman of the first Mindanao 
Emergency Commission. 

Lieutenant Wilson was an engraver in one of the large firms in 
Manila and when the war broke out he went back to the Navy and 
during the trying moments of December, 1941, directed operations in 
the removal of shipping from Pasig to the Bay. Before the fall of 
Bataan, he was ordered to the Visayas finally landing in Mindanao, 
in time for the engraving and printing of the Guingona notes. However, 
before the Japs landed in Mindanao, he had destroyed all evidence of 
minting activities. 

About that time the sum of F7,500,000 of regular Philippine National 
Bank notes belonging to the Philippine Government and sealed in foui 
wooden cases were entrusted to Wilson and Guingona for safe keeping 
Although it was expected that the enemy would soon land in Mindanao 
they were not given any instruction concerning the money. Evidently 
there was a disagreement between the two custodians as to what shoulc 
be done with these four cases of fifty-peso bills. It was finally decidec 
that each of them would take two cases and assume individual respon 
sibility for them. The Commissioner left with his share which amountec 
to P4,000,000.00 and buried the cases under his evacuation house in th< 
province of Lanao. His idea was to "keep" the money "intact" for th< 


However, he did not take into account the fact that termites, 
both human and otherwise, had a way of locating and scattering- buried 
treasure. The result was that the whole amount was in some unex- 
plained way "unearthed" supposedly by Moros, and the fifty peso 
bills, with the portrait of General Lawton, were scattered far and 
near. Some of these so-called "Lawtons" were even peddled at P25.00 
each to the internees at Sto. Tomas Internment Camp at Manila. In a 
recent legislation redeeming Philippine National Bank notes, the notes 
bearing the numbers of the fifty-peso bills buried by Guingona were 
excluded from the list of redeemable P.N.B. bills. 

Lieutenant Wilson kept his precious cargo until the enemy was 
so close that he had to make a final decision on what should be done 
with them. On May 2, he summoned his five officers and announced 
his decision of destroying the entire P3,700,000 by burning. The follow- 
ing is a graphic account of the burning taken from a recent article in the 
Manila Trends Magazine:* 

"Back in the forest at the camp of General Fort, Sam Wilson had 
clung to his precious cargo until the enemy moved in. 

The time for decision had come. No one knew that the two boxes 
contained 1*3,700,000.00, one box holding two million of fifty-peso "Lawton" 
bills, the other containing over one and a half million pesos of miscel- 
laneous denominations. 

Summoning five witnesses who were officers, Wilson took his boxes 
to a clearing and announced his decision to destroy by fire the three 
and a half million pesos. The burning preceded according to plan. Even 
at trying moments little humorous incidents always had to tag along. 
While the money was being burned, a Moro chieftain, one among the 
curious group watching who evidently must have thought that the 
"Americano" officer was going 'loco/ walked over and bluntly inquired 
why this good and precious money was being destroyed. 

Through an interpreter, Wilson tried to explain that it was necessary 
to keep the money from falling into the hands of the Japs. Apparently 
the explanation failed to satisfy the chieftain, who stepped forward 
boldly and took three bundles of notes, blew the burned portions away 
calmly, and then thrust them into his multi-colored blouse. He looked 
at Sam Wilson defiantly and turned around. Loud murmurs rose from 
the onlookers. Wilson realized that if he let the chieftain get away 
with it a mad stampede would follow, which might cause additional 
troubles. He also realized he would be failing to keep the trust which 
a hospitable government had placed on him if he failed to destroy all 
the money. Explaining by gestures, an interpreter made rapid transla- 
tions of 'no can do.' 

The chieftain's face gradually relaxed and finally he nodded under- 
standingly. He laid a hand on Sam Wilson's shoulder and smiled. He 
took out all the bills he had gotten and laughed. Sam Wilson laughed 
with him. He took back the money and threw them into the flames. 

The tension was broken. Later the Moro gave Sam some rice 
cookies a promise of lasting friendship, of respect and at the same time 
a most tasty and strengthening dish under food-shortage circumstances." 

The "Saguin" Mindanao Emergency Issue 

These were issued from 1943-1945 by the Second Mindanao Currency 
Board under the chairmanship of Judge Florentine Saguin and with 
Captain Wilson supervising the engraving and the minting of the notes. 
This mint could be called the first and only "hit and run mint" as it 
had to leap-frog, MacArthur-like, from province to province in order 
to escape capture, confiscation and death. How it was possible to keep 
the equipment intact and to avoid major differences in designs and 


The Mindanao Emergency Issues 


This note is redeemable &t fee 
and will 


Oovcrnmcnt of 

will re<Je<eni ^Ki* C<rttfk-at *it f- 
upon tcrminalton of 






sizes and to keep an accurate record of each printing and of the number 
of every bill printed is a commentary on the fearlessness, integrity, 
patriotism, and resourcefulness of Judge Saguin and his mintmaster, 
Lieutenant Wilson. There was only one type of each denomination and 
a type collection of these bills would only necessitate nine notes from 
5c to 20.00 while a collection including all printings and their control 
numbers and letters would need less than seventy-five specimens. 

Furthermore, with the data now available, a foreign collector may 
easily determine in which province and in what municipality each note 
was printed. This helps to make this issue the most interesting and 
the most fascinating of all Philippine guerilla series. 

When Captain Wilson arrived in Manila with General MacArthur 
to liberate his wife and two sons who had been interned in Sto. Tomas, 
he personally delivered to the University of Sto. Tomas the first 
American flag unfolded in Manila after the liberation. 

The history of Mindanao notes is not merely the story of an issue 
of money; it is the story of the patriotism and integrity of a Filipino 
judge and an American naval officer. 

Pertinent Data: 

"Guingona Money" 

First Issues 

Number Denomination Number of Notes Ink Seal and Serial 

Issued Number 

1 2.00 20,000 black red 

2 5.00 76,338 blue Magenta 

3 10.00 29,000 blue red 

4 20.00 52,900 blue red 

Total amount issued fl,7 69,690.00 

Background of face and back printed obliquely with "Mindanao Emergency 

Currency Board" in small letters on white paper from Bais, Negros 

Emergency Committee: 

Commissioner Teopisto Guingona, Chairman 

Ubaldo D. Lay a of Misajnis Oriental, Member 

T. Alagaban, Auditor of Lanao, Member 
Period of Printing March, 1942, to May 1, 1942 

Saguin Issues 
Pertinent Data: 

All printings bear the same design but printings may be identified by 

control letters and types of paper used. 

Size of peso denominations from 2.00 to 20.00 6^ x 2}f in. 
Size of peso denominations from 1.00 and .50c 4^ x 2if in. 
Size of peso denominations from 5, 10 & 20 centavos 4^ x 1 in. 

Saguin Emergency Committee: 

Florentino Saguin, Chairman 

I. D. Pacana, Member 

I. Barbasa, Member 
First Printing Printed in Matugas, Misamis Occidental, during the period 

from April 4 to June 25, 1943. 
Type of paper Manila paper. 




Number Denomination 

1 20.00 

2 10.00 

3 5.00 

4 2.00 

5 1.00 

6 .50c 

7 -20c 

8 -10c 

9 .05c 
Total issue in pesos. 

Second printing Liangan Barrio, Kolambugan Municipality, 
Lanao, from September 6 to November 1, 1943. 

Type of paper both manila and on -white paper. 

Number of Notes 


Seal and Serial 
































Province of 












AA (narrow letters) 
BI5 (narrow letters) 
CC (narrow letters) 
DD (narrow letters) 
EE (narrow letters) 
FF 1 (narrow letters) 
HH (narrow letters) 
HH (narrow letters) 
II (narrow letters) 

Colors of seals and serial numbers the same in his and in all subsequent issues. 

Third Printing in the Municipality of Esperanza, Agusan Province, from 
December 13, 1943, to January 22, 1944; similar to the preceding but 
with wide control lettering AA, BB, etc. 

Type of paper White. 














The Mindanao Emergency Issues 

rs TOXT r r ttm*oft*tAcrti ceTnrwuaa ur m 


I JSS I !E^^S;^5" A 

WiLiiMtHTigscnmrtc4rxjirFACE Ytu* 



PAYftftUC TO TMC AE* OH M**ftM> 

W LBwrui. cuaftCMcy or TMC PHu_mpw* 

naPTYtf T>mf^MNrgTWCqMMQf<V>eLTH 


i cturmcs TW fflt muff x uijgnnu, TOCO* i 






HH (wide letter) 
n (wide letter) 

Color same as the preceding: issue. 

(Number of notes issued in Esperanza included with the figures for Liangaii) 
Total for the 2nd and 3rd printings P7, 660,030.00 

Fourth Printing in Loreto, Agusan Province, from March 18 to November 
4, 1944. 

28 10.00 

29 5.00 

30 2.00 

31 1.00 

32 .50 

33 .20 

34 .10 

35 .05 

36 10.00 

37 5.00 

38 2.00 

39 1.00 

40 .50 

41 .20 

42 .10 

43 .05 

Total amount issued... 


































Same as the 




Fifth Printing in - Tingcugas Barrio, Dlpolog Municipality, 
Province, from September 14 to October 6, 1944. 

Type of paper used White. 





(Date only) 








(Date only) 








(Date only) 








(Date only) 








(Date only) 








(Date only) 




(Date only) 

Total amount issued 

Sixth Printing in Dipolog Municipality 
ruary 27 to December, 1944. 

Type of paper used white. 


Zamboanga Province, from Feb- 












(Date only) 
















(Date only) 

Total amount issued. 



Seventh Printing in Calamba Barrio, Plaridel 
Occidental Province, from April 7 to 22, 1945. 
Type of paper used white. 

Municipality, Misamis 

65 20.00 84,000 

66 10.00 29,900 

67 10.00 4,200 

68 5.00 14,300 

69 2.00 14,300 

70 1.00 15,000 

71 .50 15,200 
Total amount issued 





<I>ate only) 




(a) Printed in Matugas P 2,681,510.00 

(b) Printed in Liangan 7,660,030.00 

(c) Printed in Loreto 4,778,075.00 

(d-) Printed in Tingcugas 4,166,650.00 

(e) Printed in Estaka 3,143,450.00 

(f) Printed in Calamba 1,143,700.00 

Total amount issued of the notes printed by the MECB under 

the chairmanship of Judge Saguin _ p23, 573,415. 00 


Total amount issued of the notes printed by the MECB 

under the chairmanship of Commissioner Guingona 1,769,690.00 

Total amount of MECB notes issued or put into circulation p25,343,105.0Q 

* Mario Chance: Mindanao's Mint. 

* Acknowledgement is gratefully made by the author to Major J. Montalvan of 
Origueta, Misamis, for much of the ofl^cial data embodied in the article. Major 
Montalvan and his brother took a very prominent part in the resistance movement 
in that sector. G. P. 


O. P. Eklund 

The following article, translated by Robert Robertson from the pamphlet 
"De Svenska Mynten" (The Swedish Coins), by T. G. Appelgren, Stock- 
holm, Sweden, will, it is hoped, fully explain this "the world's most remark- 
able coinage." 

Why were the large and cumbersome coins called plate money issued in 
Sweden, and why have they, contrary to their metal, in their stamps the 
appellation "Silf Mynt" (Silver Coin) ? 

These questions were long since answered in the foreign (non-Swedlsli) 
numismatic literature with the declaration that these plates are "necessity" 
coins. That this classification is erroneous will be shown in the following 

When the minting of copper coins began in Sweden in 1624 it comprised 
only low values (2, 1, % and % ore), which, consequently, brought very 
little profit to the Treasury. When this minting had continued for about 
20 years the thought occurred to make it profitable not only by striking 
fractions of the unit but the unit itself, the Swedish daler or 4 mark, and 

tS The scarcity of silver was the reason for this trial to strike the country's 
higher denominations in copper, "not as necessity coins" but every plate 
with a metal value in copper equal to the value in silver given on each 
plate According to such reckoning, a coin of base metal, such as copper, 
Sad to be made with very large dimensions. With this explanation as a 
background for the history of the small values, 1624-1643, the origin of 
the Swedish copper plate minting is understood. , 

* TSr-manSSJture" of these plates began In 1644 at Avesta ',^ a $ 
Dalecarlla, (Dalarna), and the only value issued (the first and only time) 
was the 10 daler (the largest and heaviest coin of any. time and place) tt 
measures 27% by 12 inches and weighs approximately 48 pounds but from 

1649 the minting of these plates began in earnest with values of 8, 4, 2 


and 1 daler denominations, and later with the y% daler; still later, 1674 
only, with plates of 5 and 3 daler. 

The 8 daler, like the 10, is rectangular in shape and is known to have 
been struck as late as 1682. The other values are almost square (except 
where the corners were clipped to adjust the plate to its correct weight. This 
trimming of the corners is not an act of modern vandalism, but was made 
before striking, and continued to be issued as late as 1776. But as no plate 
is known with a later date than 1759, those of later dates must have been 
struck with earlier dies. 

In the following list the rarity of the plates is indicated by one R for 
rare, two R's for very rare, three R's for extremely rare, and four R's 
when only one or two specimens are known. 

No. 73. 

General type of all the Plate Money. 

Christina, 16325-1 654. 

Plates Struck at Avesta. 

1. 10 daler, 1644. In the four corner stamps, CHRISTINA D. G. REGINA 

SVECIE around a crown in center; above, C; at sides R-S; below, 
the date. In the center stamp, X between two lilies | DALER I 
SOLLFP MNT (Silver Money) | M-K and a small shield (MARKUS 
KOCK (mint master.) (RRR) 

(One of the best known specimens of this huge coin was illustrated In 
The Numismatist, May, 1925, page 268.) 

2. 1 daler, 1649-54. In the corner stamps, CHRISTINA D. G. SVE. 

GOT. WANQ. REGINA, around a crown, the date below. The 
central stamp similar to last. Coined 1649 (RRR), '50 (RR) '52 
(RRR), '53 (RR), '54 (RR) . 

3. 2 daler, 1649-54. Similar 

Coined 1649 (RR), '51 (RRR), '53 (RRR), '54 (RRR). 

4. 4 daler, 1649-53. Similar. 

Coined 1649 (RRR), '52 (RRR), '53 (RRR). 


5. 8 daler, 1652-53. Similar. Both dates RRR. 

Charles X Gustavus, 1 654-1660. 

Coins Struck at Avesta. 

6. 1 daler 1655-59 

ler 1655-59. In ^the four corner stamps, CAROLUS GUSTAVUS. 

T +i' * SVECO around a crown in center; below, the date 

n - ^ -, I l.r^ e /S?^ er stam > ! between two lilies | BALER I SOLFF MNT 
Coined 1655 (RR), '56 (RR), >57 (RR), '58 (RRR), >59 (RRR). 

7. 2 daler, 1658-59. Similar. Both dates RRR ixvxmj- 

8. 4 daler, 1656-58. Similar 
(1656 RR, '57 RR, '58 RRR.) 

9. 8 daler, 1656-59. Similar. 
(1656 RR, '57 RR, '58 RR, '59 RR.) 

Charles XI, 166O-1697. 

Coins Made at Avesta. 

10. y 2 daler, 1681-89. In the four corner stamps, C. R. S. (Carolus, King 

of Sweden), under a crown, date below. In the central stamp, 
Vz | DALER | SOLFF. MYT, three stars below. 
(1681 RR, '82 RR, 'S3 RR, '85 RR, '86 RRR, '89 RR.) 

11. 1 daler, 1660-90. Similar but CAROLUS. D. G. SVECO. GOTO. WAN. 

REX around the crown. 

(Coined 1660 RRR, '61 RR, '62 RR, '63 RRR, '64 RR, '67 RR, '68 RR., 
'69 RR, '72 RR, '73 RR, '74 RR, '75 RR, '76, '77 RR, '78 RRR, '79 RR 
'80 R, '81 RR, '82 RR, '83 RR, '85 RR, '86 RR, '89 RR, '90 R.) 

12. 2 daler, 1660-93. Similar. 

(Coined 1660 RRR, '64 RRR, '68 RRR, '69 RR, '72 RR, '73 RRR, '74, 
'75, '76, '77 RRR, '78 RR, '80 R, '81 R, '82 R, '83 R, '84 R, '85 RR, '86 RR, 
'91 RRR, '93 RRR.) 

13. 3 daler, 1674. Similar. (RRR) 

14. 5 daler, 1674. Similar. (RRR) 

15. 8 daler, 1660-82. Similar. 

(Coined 1660 RR, '61 RRR, '62 RR, '63 RR, '71 RRR, '81 RR, '82 RR.) 


16. 2 daler, 1674. Similar, but with a five-pointed star between lilies 

below the value. (RRR) 

Svappavara (Lappland). 

17. 2 daler, 1693. Similar, but AR between stars below the value. (RRR) 


18. 4 daler, 1663. Similar, but with a B (BENGT) below the date and a 

small round shield between M K (MARKUS KOCK, mint master) 
below the value. (RRR) 

This coin was made from old plates clipped to weight and counterstamped 
at Stockholm by "Bengt the Coinsmith" at the Royal mint. 

Charles XII, 1697-1718. 

Coins Made at Avesta. 
First Coinage. 

19. y% daler, 1710-15. In the four corner stamps, C. R. S., a crown and 

date. In the center, % | DALER | SOLFF MYT, two crossed arrows 
(Coined in 1710, '11, '12, '13, '14 R, '15.) 

20. 1 daler, 1710-15. Similar, but CAROLUS. XII. D. G. SVE. GOT. WAN. 

REX in the corner stamps. 
(Same dates and rarity as last). 


21. 2 daler, 1710-15. Similar. 
(Same dates and rarity as last). 

22. 2 daler, 1712. Similar, but with three stars below the value. Very 


Second Coinage. 

23 % daler, 1715-17. In the corner stamps, two C's linked, inclosing XII; 
above, a crown; at sides, the date. In diamond shaped stamp in 
center, V 2 \ DALER | S. M. (Silver Coin). 

24. 1 daler, 1715-17. Similar. 

25. 2 daler, 1716, 17. Similar. 

26. 4 daler, 1716, 17. Similar. Rare. 

Third Coinage. 

27. % daler, 1718. Corner stamps, three crowns, date below. In triangular 

stamp in center, a shield of arms, the value above; at sides, D S 

28. 1 daler, 1718. Similar. Extremely rare. 

29. 2 daler, 1718. Similar. Rare. 

30. 4 daler, 1718. Similar. Rare. 


31. 1 daler, 1711. Similar to the first coinage, but a crowned B below 

the value. (RRR) 

32. 2 daler, 1711-13. Similar. (RRR) 

The coins with this mint mark were made at Avesta from copper from 
Basinge mine. 


33. % daler 1714. Similar to last but a star in place of the B. 

34. 1 daler, 1710. Similar. (RRR) 

35. 2 daler, 1710-14. Similar. 

(1710 RR, '11 RR, '12 RR, '13 RRR, '14 RRR). 







2 daler, 1700-1701. 
value. (RRR) 

Similar to last, but AR between stars below the 

Counterstamped Coins. 

^ daler, 1710-15. Plates of the first coinage. Counterstamped on 
obverse with a lion in a shield, and the date, 17-18, at sides, within 
a circle. (RR) 

1 daler, 1710-15. Counterstamped as last. (RRR) 
As last. (RR) 

Of the second coinage. Counterstamped as last. 

daler, 1710-15. 
Y 2 daler, 1715-17. 

1 daler, 1715-17. 

2 daler, 1716-17. 

As last. 
As last. 

This counterstamping was done from February 20 to July 18, 1718. 
following from July 31 to November 24, 1718. 





daler, 1710-15. Of the first coinage. Counterstamped as above on 
obverse, and on reverse three crowns within a circle. (RR) 
1 daler, 1710-15. As preceding. (RR) 
As preceding. (RR) 

Of the second coinage. Counterstamped as last. 

2 daler, 1710-15. 
y 2 daler, 1715-17. 

1 daler, 1715-17. 

2 daler, 1716-17. 
4 daler, 1715-17. 

As last. 
As last. 
As last. 


From February 20 to April 12, 1718, the value of plate coins minted prior 
to May 17, 1715, was raised 50 per cent, by counterstamping new values. 


50. % daler, 1718. Within a circle % | DALER | S. M. | 1718, on the 

obverse of half daler coins. (RRR) 

51. 1^ daler, 1718. Similar, but the value 1^, on one daler coins. 


52. 3 daler, 1718. Similar, but the value 3, on two-daler coins. (RRR) 
Of the half dalers, 8,000 were counterstamped, of the one dalers 3,200 

and of the two dalers 37,100. 

Cannon Metal Plates. 
Made in Stockholm from melted cannons. 

53. 1 daler, 1715. In the four corner stamps: a crown. In the center 

stamp, the value between two crowns | D. S. M. (Daler Silver 
Money) | 1715 divided by a crown. (R) 

54. 2 daler, 1714-16. Similar to last. (R) 

55. 2 daler, 1714. Similar, but the value between lilies, and the date un- 

divided. (RR) 

Ulrika Eleonora, 1718-172O. 

Coins Made at Avesta. 
First Coinage. 

56. % daler, 1719. In the four corner stamps, three crowns and date. 

In the central stamp, a lion in shield, value above. At sides, D S 
(Daler Silver). (R) 

57. 1 daler, 1719. Similar. (RR) 

58. 2 daler, 1719. Similar. (RR) 

59. 4 daler, 1719. Similar. (RRR) 

Second Coinage. 

60. % daler, 1719-20. Corner stamps, the Queen's monogram, TEE, script, 

crowned, dividing the date. In the center stamp, % | DALER | 
SILF. MYNT, and two crossed arrows. 

61. 1 daler, 1719-20. Similar. 

62. 2 daler, 1719-20. Similar. 

63. 4 daler, 1719-20. Similar. (R) 

Frederick I, 172O-1751. 

Coins Made at Avesta. 

64 ^ daler, 1720-50. Corner stamps, F. R. S. under a crown; below, 
the date. Center stamp, ^ | DALER | SILF. MYNT, crossed arrows 
Coined every year from 1720 to 1750, inclusive. 1738 rare, other dates 


65. 1 daler, 1720-50. Similar. 
(Dates and rarity as last). 

66. 2 daler, 1720-50. Similar. 
(Dates as last. 1738 and 1741 rare). 

67. 4 daler, 1720-46. Similar. 

Coined every year from 1720 to 1746, inclusive. All dates common. 


68 % daler, 1748. Similar to preceding coins, but with a crowned G in 

place of the arrows below the value. Rare. 
69. 1 daler, 1748. Similar. Rare. 


70 % daler, 1746, 48. Similar, but with two script F's linked, below the 

value. (1746 R, 1748 RR.) 
71. 1 daler, 1746, 48. Similar. 
(1746 R, '48 RR.) 


72. 2 daler, 1746. Similar. (RRR) 

Adolph Frederick, 1751-1771. 

Plates Made at Avesta. 

73 Vz daler, 1751-59. In the four corner stamps, A. P. R. S. under a 
crown; below, the date. In the center stamp: ^ | DALER | SILP. 
MYNT, two crossed arrows below. 
(Coined every year from 1751 to 1759, inclusive. All dates common). 

74. 1 daler, 1751-59. Similar. 
(Same remarks as last.) 

75. 2 daler, 1751-59. Similar. 

(1751 R, '52 RRR, '53, '54, '55 RR, '56, '57 RR, '58 R, '59 RR). 

76. 4 daler, 1753-58. Similar. (All dates rare.) 


77. y 2 daler, 1752. Similar to last, but with a crowned C in place of the 

arrows below the value. (RRR) 

78. 1 daler, 1752. Similar. (RR) 


79. % daler, 1752. Similar, but with a crowned G below the value. (RR) 

80. 1 daler, 1752. Similar. (R) 


81. % daler, 1753. Similar to last, but with two script L's linked, below 

the value. (RR). 

82. 1 daler, 1753. Similar. (RR) 

Swedish Copper Coins 

Legal copper coins were first minted in Sweden in 1624. While cop- 
per coins were struck prior to that date, for example., John Ill's 2 ore, 
1573 and 1591, they were, when minted, given a very thin coat of silver 
plating and issued as silver coins. The square coins were first struck by 
the old hammer method, but later on this method proved too slow and 
roller coining presses were inaugurated. All of the round coins until the 
year 1718 were coined by the latter method. 

On these coining machines the coins were struck, or, rather, pressed 
between rollers on which several dies were cut or punched in, on long 
strips of metal, several coins on each strip. As the dies on the two rollers 
did not always match, many of the coins are found more or less off the 
planchets. It often happened that the dies were too hard and crumbled 
under the rollers, causing lumps on the coins. This roller method of coin- 
ing was invented in Germany about 1560 and introduced in Sweden in 
1625. Excerpt from "Copper Coins of Sweden" by O. P. Eklund, The 
Numismatist, May, 1941. 



J. Hunt Deacon 

Authorities Consulted. 

^Australian Tokens and Coins," by Dr. Arthur Andrews (1921). 
P. JHyn^n O893) ' Coinages and Currency of Australasia," by Coleman 

Th'^iS" Gill* c e ^ h G,I.S h o e U^lfT and Paper *y ^ South Australia," by 

^The History of Paper Currency in Australia," by Percy J Marks BA (1919") 

RudiSJ (1840) C ina8re f Great Brltain and Its Dependencies," by Rev.' Rogers 

The illustrations accompanying this article are limited to the more im- 
portant specimens of Australian numismatics, the greater number of which 
are taken from specimens in the numismatic collection of South Australia. 
I have to acknowledge the permission granted by the Board of Governors of 
The Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia and the 
Trustees of The Mitchell Library, Sydney, New South Wales, to illustrate 
from the collections under their control. Also, I have to record my thanks 
to Mr. Percy J. Marks, B.A., of Sydney, (an authority on Australian paper 
money) for his kind assistance. 

Consequent upon the varying dates of settlement in the Colonies (now 
States) of Australia, the numismatic development, taken in chronological 
order, tends to be rather disjointed; but as each Colony (excepting South 
Australia) came under the jurisdiction of the premier Colony (New South 
Wales) prior to its being declared a separate Colony, the early numismatic 
history of that Colony affected the whole of Australia for many years. 

The arrangement adopted here is that of dealing with each important ad- 
vancement (or otherwise) as it occurred. Such arrangement should enable 
readers to follow the sequence of evolution from the period of no coined cur- 
rency whatever (1788) to the recent issue in 1927 of the commemorative 
florin. I have refrained from lengthy descriptions of specimens mentioned, 
as this paper is intended to record the circumstances under which each piece 
was issued and the general monetary conditions which prevailed in the 
earlier days rather than an attempt at a descriptive catalogue. Specially 
mentioned pieces, however, are accompanied with its reference number in 
Andrews' work, in which will be found detailed descriptions and illustra- 
tions of the most interesting of Australian coins and tokens. 

It was unfortunate that Australia was settled during a period in which the 
British coinage itself was in such a deplorable condition, caused, no doubt, 
by long wars and delayed legislation. Ruding explains t>hat the bad condi- 
tion of the coinage had been recognized at the accession of George III . . . 
"the crown pieces had almost disappeared, the half crowns which remained 
were to a certain degree defaced and impaired, shillings had almost lost 
every mark of impression on the obverse and reverse, while sixpences were 
in a worse state.' 1 In 1797 an attempt was made by the issue of shillings 
and sixpences, and Hyman states that from 1689 to 1816 only 13,000,000 
in silver had been coined. There had been no issue of copper coins since 
1775 and the scarcity thus caused was responsible for the appearance of the 
innumerable private tokens issued from 1784 to 1797. In the last year two- 
pences, weighing two ounces, and pence were minted in copper, but were 
unpopular. Similar attempts to supply a better copper coinage were made 


in 1799 and 1806, and these were a marked Improvement upon the heavy 
"cartwheel'* pieces. However, the supply of these was far below the re- 
quirements and, consequently, private traders' tokens again appeared. Those 
issued from the years 1804 to 1817 are usually termed the nineteenth cen- 
tury tokens, and later on considerable quantities of these appeared in Aus- 
tralia. There had been no Government issue of silver coins from 1787 to- 
1816 'but the Bank of England had countermarked Spanish dollars in 1797 
and had issued their own tokens in 1804 and 1811, besides which there were 
numbers of private silver tokens and paper money circulating in England 
at this period. In 1816 a new silver coinage, which might be referred to as 
the re-coinage of George III, was issued, the sizes, thicknesses and types 
differing from any succeeding mintings, although the same standard of 
fineness was retained. Copper tokens were prohibited in 1817, excepting; 
in specified cases, but no new issue of copper was made until 1821. 

It can be well understood that with such a state of currency existing in 
the home country, the early settlers of Australia were left to their own 
resources to supply their currency. In the study of Australian numismatics 
we are not greatly concerned with the history of Australia itself prior to its 
discovery (or re-discovery) by Lieutenant (afterwards Captain) James- 
Cook in 1770 and its settlement by the British. We learn from those in 
authority upon the life of the natives of Australia (aborigines) that there 
existed all over the continent a network of trade routes and that by a proc- 
ess of exchange articles were passed from one place to some other place 
where such commodities were unobtainable. One can instance such a net- 
work of these routes joining up with each other in the tribal territories of 
South Roper River, North Roper River (Tableland), Groote Eylandt and 
Boroloola in the northern central part of Australia. 

The earlier political history of Australia may be rather confusing to 
American readers, and therefore it seems advisable to outline the extent of 
the Colony of New South Wales at the various stages in its history and its 
position to the other Colonies. Discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770, 
it was settled and declared a British Colony by Captain John Philip on 
January 26th, 1788. The administration by this Colony was extended at 
different periods to the whole of the discovered parts of Australia and New 
Zealand (South Australia excepted). The northern portion was settled in 
1824 and called the Moreton Bay Settlement. In 1859 this territory became 
the Colony of Queensland and possessed Responsible Government. The 
central portion, the original settlement, was granted Responsible Govern- 
ment in 1856. The southern district, known as the Port Philip Settlement, 
was founded by Captain John Philip in 1770, but was not settled in until 
1803. It was granted Responsible Government on its declaration as a Col- 
ony in 1851. The island to the south of Victoria was known as Van Dieman's 
Land. It was discovered by Abel Jansen Tasman, the celebrated Dutch ex- 
plorer, on November 24th, 1642, and named by him after the then Gover- 
nor-General of the Dutch East Indies. It was settled by the British in 1803 
and was declared a Colony with Responsible Government, under the name 
of Tasmania, in 1856, five years after it had been separated from New South 
Wales, The Colony of Western Australia was settled in 1829 and com- 
prised King George's Sound and the Swan River Settlements, and was orig- 
inally under the jurisdiction of the premier Colony. South Australia was 
founded under very different circumstances from those already mentioned. 
It was declared a Province on December 28th, 1836, and granted Respon- 
sible Government some thirty years later, 

Many numismatic writers include New Zealand in their works, usually 
under the heading of Australasian. As the period of the dependency of that 
Colony upon New South Wales was so short (1840-1854) and as it now 
forms a Dominion separate from Australia, I have excluded it from the 
present article, which is expressly on Australian coins and tokens. 

Dealings by the early settlers were transacted with English money which 
they themselves had brought out. Trading with the natives was effected by 
barter, Hyman mentioning that "the first form of barter appears to have 
been established at Parramatta in 1791, the settlers giving small quantities 
of rice or bread in exchange for fish." As early as this Spanish dollars 
were recognized as current coin at a fixed rate of five shillings. In the latter 
part of 1792 a shipment of these dollars to the value of 1,001 arrived, but 
these were undoubtedly re-exported in the purchase of merchandise from the 


trading vessels calling here. The captains of these ships refused to accept 
private paper money, requiring such payments to be made either in coin or 
Government paper. The chief currency at this time appears to have "been 
rum, and Hyman says, "it may well be said that the 'rummiest currency 
known' was that initiated when rum became so extensively used as a circu- 
lating medium/' Besides English coin, foreign moneys and paper notes, 
there was in circulation a number of counterfeit coins and notes. Accord- 
ing to Marks, "the earliest notes seem to have been store receipts and pay- 
masters' bills, the latter issued by the military authorities. The former were 
receipts signed by the storepeeker of the public granaries, for grain and 
other produce delivered to the Government and were in the form of an order 
on the Commissary-General to pay the persons named, or bearer, a certain 
sum, being at the rate fixed upon at the time for the price of the particular 
commodity. These store receipts passed freely from hand to hand and were 
supposed to be presented to the CommissaryvGeneral every quarter" for 
payment, although they often remained in circulation for a much longer 
period. The issuing of these receipts ceased in 1828 and were evidently 
destroyed on redemption, as no specimens are known to be in existence. 

In November, 1800, by proclamation of Governor Philip Gidney King, 
certain British and foreign coins were declared to be of legal tender at 
certain fixed rates. This act was intended to prevent the re-exportation of 
these pieces, excepting at a loss, as each coin was rated at a higher value 
than its actual circulating value outside Australia. The coins thus affected 

Early Tasmanian Note. 

(South. Australia National Collection.) 

are usually termed "the Proclamation Coins" and comprise, of gold pieces, 
the English guinea (And. 809), valued at 1/2/0; the Portuguese Johanna 
(And 801) and its half (And. 802), at 4/0/0 and 2/0/0, respectively; 
the Dutch ducat (And. 806), at 9/6; the Indian mohur (And. 808), at 
1/17/6 and the Indian pagoda (And. 807), at $/; and silver pieces, the 
Spanish dollar (And. 811), at 5/; the Indian rupee (And. 816 and 817), at 
2/6; the Butch guilder (And. 815) at 2/, and the English shilling (And 
818) at 1/2. For copper requirements the English "cartwheel penny of 
1797 (And. 821), of which 1,200 worth had been received earlier in the 
year was circulated at the value of twopence to the legal tender of 5. Even 
with this attempt to relieve the inconvenience of the want of currency, a 
bartering of goods for goods was still carried on, and where goods were not 
available I O Us and promissory notes, often of doubtful value, were ten- 
dlred. In order to ease the tension caused through the unscrupulous use 
of such, notes, many issuers of which having no intention of honoring them, 
an Act of 1807 was passed that all notes issued should be payable in cash 
at the value of current coin, and not infrequently promiss ory notes were 
issued for sums as low as threepence, payable in Spanish dollars (at 5/ 

he twenty-sixth of November, 1812, Spanish dollars to the value of 


10,000 arrived by H. M. S. Samarang, the distribution of which was held 
over pending legislation to prevent their being re-exported. The Procla- 
mation made by Governor Lachlan Macquarie on July 1st, 1813, ordered 
that a small circular piece of silver should be cut from the center of the 
dollars and that that piece should bear on one side NEW SOUTH WALES 
and on the other FIFTEEN PENCE. The remaining ring was to be marked 
near the inner ring with the words NEW SOUTH WALES and the date 1813 
-on one side, and on the other, FIVE SHILLINGS and a laurel wreath. The 
ring-piece was known as the Holey, Ring or Colonial Dollar (And. 701-705) 
and the small circular piece was called the Dump (And. 709-715). These 
were valued at 5/ and 1/3, respectively, while the uncut dollars were still 
legal tender at 5/, but were subjected to re-exportation. The remainder of 
the proclamation deals with the penalties against forgery, melting down 
and other illegal practices. It was further enacted that promissory notes 
under the value of 2-/6 should be abolished and that the legal tender of 
copper be at 1/3. 

This policy of Governor Macquarie was nothing more nor less than a 
copying of the countermarking of the Spanish dollars in England and the 
cutting and counterstamping of these pieces in the various colonies, par- 
ticularly the West Indies. These foreign coins, either cut, countermarked, 
or uninterfered with, made legal tender by Proclamation or General Order, 

Holey Dollar and Dump of 1813. 

(South Australia National Collection.) 

and the private paper money were known as "currency" to differentiate 
them from the Imperial coinages circulating here, which were classed as 

In 1817 the Bank of New South Wales was established and on May 9th, 
two years later, notes to the values of 20, 10, 5, 1, 10/, 5/ and 2/6 
were issued and formed the principal and most stable paper money then 

In December, 1817, the public were notified that all copper coin bearing 
a date previous to the Proclamation of 1800 should be presented before the 
first day of the next year, after which they would circulate at the English 
sterling value, to the legal tender of 5. Under Governor Sir Thomas Bris- 
bane the first attempt was made in 1822 to redeem the Holey Dollars and 
Dumps with Treasury bills. In 1823 the value of the Spanish dollar dropped 
to 4/ and depreciated the Holey Dollar and Dump to 3/ and I/, respectively. 
It is to this year that the first Australian silver token is attributed, a shil- 
ling of Macintosh and Degraves, trading as the Cascade Saw Mills, of Ho- 
bart, Tasmania (A. 680). Although this piece is dated 1823, doubts have 
been raised as to whether that date actually signifies the year of issue or the 
date of the establishment of the business. 


Toward the beginning of 1824 the notes of the Bank of New South Wales 
were withdrawn and others with the following values issued: $1, $3, $5, 
$10, $20, and $50. The first Act of Parliament dealing with the currency 
problem was "The Currency Act of 1824," hy which promissory notes and 
hills of exchange made payable in Spanish dollars were made available as 
if drawn payable in sterling money of the realm. Consequent upon this 
Act, the Bank of New South Wales withdrew their issue of the same year 
and issued notes for 50, 20, 10, 1, 10/ and 5A 

Upon the receipt of supplies of British coin late in 1825, Spanish dollars 
were traded at 4/4 and the Calcutta (sicca) rupee at 2/1. Bills on the 
Treasury for 100, 30 days sight, were exchanged for 103 sterling, and so 
on in proportion to any greater amount tendered. 

The next year saw the repeal of the Act of 1824 by "The Sterling Act." 
This confirmed the value ratio for British coins and Spanish dollars and 
declared illegal promissory notes under 1 drawn subsequent to the date 
of the Act; it also fixed the copper coin legal tender at twelve pence. As 
might be expected, the lowering of the value of the dollar was not favorably 
received, but, on the other hand, the attempt to prevent the issuing of low- 
valued promissory notes was regarded as a step toward the abolition of 
private paper money. With the object of the withdrawal of the Holey Dol- 
lars and Dumps a General Order was made in 1828 to the effect that they 
would be received at 3/3 and 1/1, respectively, in exchange for bills or 
British coin. Following upon this, in August of the next year, notification 
was given that no Government department would receive, after a given date, 
foreign coin payments, and a definite date for the receiving of Holey Dollars 
and Dumps was fixed. By these orders "sterling coinage or paper issues" 
practically superseded the "currency" of the early settlers. By "Act of 
Council" of 1850 the Bank of New South Wales was reconstructed and a 

Tlie Tasmanian Shilling. 

(The Michell library, New South Wales.) 

new note issue made. It is not my intention to deal with the note issues of 
the various banks operating in the Australian colonies other than an occa- 
sional reference to the premier banking establishment, the Bank of New 
South Wales. 

The copper coins having to some extent been insufiicient to cope with the 
requirements of small change, various business firms began issuing private 
token pence and halfpence, as was done in England during periods where 
there was a scarcity of Government coin. 

Anand Smith and Co., of Melbourne, issued the first of these tokens (And. 
17-18), an undated penny, in 1849. In 1852 the earliest dated tokens ap- 
peared, issued by Peek and Campbell, trading under the name of Tne lea 
Stores (A. 426-432). . _ . . 

It would extend this article too far to mention the issues of the token 
pence and halfpence, except to indicate briefly the extent of that coinage. 
Andrews lists some 122 issuers of Australia and describes about 500 varie- 
ties, besides several issues for the Colony of New Zealand. 

The question of a gold coinage was taken up in 1851, when alluvial gold 
was found at Mount Alexander and Ballarat. The Imperial Government had 
been approached by the Legislative Council of New South Wales ^ this ye^r 
regarding the establishment of a branch of the Royal Mint at Sydney The 
assaying of the gold sent to South Australia by the dl ers f .^ h ^ of I 
over to the neighboring Colony to try their fortunes was the subject of a 
memorial to the Lieutenant-Governor of that Colony (Sir Henry Edward 
Fox Young) This memorial was signed by some 246 merchants of Ade- 


laide and Port Adelaide recommending that the Government receives, assays 
and coins (that is, stamps) the gold and accepts same in the payments of 
land and taxes. On the 28th of the same month the "Bullion Act/' 1852, 
No. 1, was passed by a special session of the Legislative Council and assent- 
ed to. The Act, which was operative for twelve calendar months only, pro- 
vided for the assaying of uncoined gold and made certain bank notes, under 
certain conditions, legal tender. The gold was to be assayed in the Gov- 
ernment Assay Office and converted into a convenient form and stamped 
with its weight. 

Penny and Halfpenny of Peek and Campbell. 

(South Australia National Collection.) 

In exchange for these pieces, known as "Adelaide Ingots" (And. 721), 
the South Australian banks were to issue notes at the value of 3/11/0 per 
ounce of gold deposited. The banks were not allowed to sell, export or 
otherwise dispose of bullion in respect of which any notes had been issued, 
excepting for such notes as issued by the banks themselves. 

The South Australian "Ingot." 

(South Australia National Collection.) 

Within thirteen days of the passing of the Act the Assay Office was opened 
and 'continued working until February 17th, 1853, when it was closed. Gill 
states that some one and a half millions of these ingots were issued, but it 
is evident that these, with the exception of about six, were all re-melted for 
the succeeding issue. It will be seen from, the above that these pieces must 
not be regarded as coins, but as assayed bullion reserve held against a note 
issue. In July and October of the same year the Legislative Councils of 
Victoria and South Australia followed the move of New South Wales and 


each applied to the Home Government for the establishment of a Branch 
Mint at their capital city. The delay of the Home Government and the 
pressing need of circumstances caused the South Australian Government to- 
partially repeal the first Bullion Act by another, passed in November 1852 
This Act decreed that "persons were no longer entitled to demand bank 
notes in exchange for bullion" deposited, but the assayer was to "cause the 
same to be divided into convenient portions" to the values of 5, 2, 1 and 
10 / and to stamp each piece with its precise weight and value' Section 3 
of this Act is important, as it ordered that "all so stamped gold should be 
legal tender." Of the pieces thus authorized only those for the 1, called 
"Adelaide Sovereigns," (And. 724-725) were struck, of which some 24 768 
are recorded as having been issued. Dies for the 5 pieces (And. 723) 
were made, but it is doubtful if any were issued certainly none appeared, 
in circulation. 

Adelaide Sovereigns, First and Second Varieties. 

(South Australia National Collection.) 

There are two distinct varieties of the 1 piece. The first and rarest has 
a die crack on the reverse near the D of DWT and an inner circle similar to 
the obverse. On the reverse of the second variety, the die of which was. 
prepared on the cracking of the original die, the inner circle is made up of a 
beaded circle between two linear circles. These pieces were readily exported 
to England, where they were sold to the Royal Mint at 1/1/10% each,. 
there being no clause in the Act to prevent such exportation. 

The Bullion Acts of 1852 were held by many to be contrary to the Impe- 
rial statutes relating to currency. The move toward a gold currency having" 
been made in one Colony, steps were taken in the other Colonies to the same 
end. The Port Philip (or Kangaroo Office) issues of 1853 were the outcome 
of certain promoters in London. The Kangaroo Office was established to 
buy gold at 2/15/0 per ounce and to strike 2, 1, y 2 and % ounce pieces 
(And. 775-780). Owing to the rise in the price of gold to 4/4/0 per ounce 
during the period in which the dies and machinery were being shipped to 
Australia, the "Kangaroo Cffice" soon ceased working, and doubts have been 
expressed as to whether the pieces issued were ever put into circulation. 

Quarter Ounce Piece of the Kangaroo Office. 

(South Australia National Collection.) 

The establishment of the Sydney Branch of the Royal Mint was author- 
ized by the Home Government in August, 1853, but was not operated until 
1855. The earlier gold struck at this mint bore a different reverse design 
from those issued in London, and this design was continued until 1870, 
when the Imperial type bearing one of the three mint marks (S, M or P> 
was adopted. In September, 1867, the Melbourne Branch of the Royal 
Mint was opened, using the mint letter M. Thirty-three years after a third 
branch was opened at Perth (Western Australia) and using P as its mint 

Following upon the general circulation of pence and halfpence tokens,, 
silver threepences were issued by J. C. Thornthwaite (And. 681-4) and 

James Campbell (And. 685) in 1854 and by Hogarth Erichsen and Co., in 
1858-60. In the copper tokens the issue of pence were far more numerous 
than halfpence. Many of these tokens were imported from England from 
such firms as Allan and Moore, Heaton and Sons, Pope and Co. and W. J. 
Taylor (of London) ; others were of Colonial manufacture, being made 
chiefly by J. C. Thornthwaite, Whitty and Brown, Thomas Stokes and W. J. 
Taylor (of Melbourne). The sizes and weights of these tokens vary. 

Shipments bearing copper coin were arriving at varied periods and after 
1860 supplies of British bronze coins were received. Agitation soon com- 
menced against the circulation of these tokens and as early as 1863 they 
were declared illegal in Victoria. Parallel with the desire of abolishing the 
tokens there was a strong feeling for the introduction of a reliable silver 
and bronze coinage, but although the agitation for that seriously began in 
1870 it was not before 1910 that Australia had her own coinage. In 1869 
New South Wales declared private token coinage illegal. In the same year 
a supply of the English bronze was received to replace the old Imperial cop- 
per issues. In 1876 the copper coins were all withdrawn from currency in 
Australia. Tasmania declared against the token coinage in 1876. 

Sovereign of the Sydney Mint, 1857. 

(South Australia National Collection.) 

From the time of the establishment of a gold coinage in Australia and 
the abolition of the tradesmen's tokens up to the issuing of Commonwealth 
silver and bronze, the currency of the Dominion was supplied by Australian 
struck gold, issues of bank notes by the more important banks and imported 
English silver and bronze coins. 

Pattern (Nickel) Penny of 1921. 

(Hunt Deacon Cabinet.) 

The demand for a distinctive silver and bronze coinage for Australia in- 
creased with the discovery and production of silver from local mines in the 
early nineties. Negotiations were at once made with the Imperial Govern- 
ment, requesting authority to issue such coins from the branches of the 
Royal Mint in Australia. Tn 1898 the required permission was received, 
but another matter of much more importance was receiving the attention 
of the various Governments in Australia the matter of Federation. The 
currency problem was dropped for a time. 

With the completion of the Federation of the Commonwealth of Australia 
(1900-01) the "currency, coinage and legal tender" matters became a Fed- 
eral Government concern. In 1907 a currency measure was enacted pro- 
viding for current coins and authorizing the issuing of 5, 2, 1 and 10/ 
in gold; 2/, I/, 6d. and 3d., in silver, and Id. and Vzd. in bronze or nickel. 
Provision was made in the following year for the issuing of Government 
notes by the "Commonwealth Australian Notes Act No. 11 of 191 0," by 
which the Treasurer was empowered to issue notes for 10 /, 1, 2, 5 or 
any multiple of 10, providing that there was held in reserve gold not less 
than a quarter of the amount of notes issued. The Act came into operation 
on July 1st, 1912, and the majority of people here to-day can remember the 
disappearance of the bank notes. It was not, however, until 1910 that the 


first coins were issued for Australia. These were the silver pieces of 1910 
struck at the Royal Mint, London. The bronze first appeared in the follow- 
ing year. 

From this time to 1916 the Australian coinages were minted either from 
London (no mint mark) or from Ralph Heaton and Sons, of Birmingham, 
England (mint mark H). In 1916, owing to pressure of work at the Royal 
Mint, London, the orders for the Australian coinage were transferred to 
branch mints; that of the silver was transferred to Melbourne (mint mark 
M) and the bronze to Calcutta (mint mark I (India)). This arrangement 
lasted until 1919, when the whole coinage was struck by the Sydney and 
Melbourne branch mints, the bronze of which bore no mint marks 

Silver ami Bronze Issues of the Commonwealth of Australia. 

(Hunt Deacon Cabinet.) 

With the general introduction of small nickel coins in the place of the 
large bronze coins in other countries of the world, steps were taken in 1921 
for the issuing of square rounded-corner nickel pence and halfpence. Dies 
were prepared and patterns struck off at the Melbourne branch mint. How- 
ever, for various reasons the proposed coins were not issued. 

Prom about 1922 the distinctive mint marks on the silver coins were 
abolished, but retained on the gold issued. The closing of the Sydney 
Branch Mint on December 31st, 1926, ended the activities of the oldest 
official minting establishment of Australia. No alternation of designs have 
been made since the Australian silver and bronze issues, with the exception 
of the pattern nickel coins of 1921 and the commemorative florin of 1927, 
issued to commemorate the opening of the Federal Parliament House at 
Canberra, May 9th, 1927, and which is illustrated in THE NUMISMATIST, 
1927, pages 470-1. 

On Collecting Foreign Coins 

Many collectors do not like foreign coins because they do not know 
anything about them or because they are a little bit uncertain as to what 
a coin is worth and they are afraid they will be overcharged on something 
of which they are ignorant. Most foreign coins are not expensive, however. 
There is now a catalog list price. While they may not be as good for in- 
vestments as proof coins or scarce U. S. coins are they make up for it 
in other ways. Take up collecting foreign coins and you will find out you 
are giving yourself a college course in history. Excerpt from "Foreign 
Coins" by Mrs. Virginia Deebles, The Numismatist, October, 1955. 


Ernst Kraus 

Liberia is the only independent republic on the whole continent of Africa, 
and its administrative officers are negroes. It covers about 43,000 square 
miles on the west coast of Africa and lies between Sierra Leone and the- 
Ivory Coast. 

Varieties of 1833 Cent. 

Issues of 1847. 

At the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century 
the United States was facing the serious problem of providing for many 
freed slaves, whose ever-increasing number complicated the situation in the 
young republic. 



In 1816 the American Colonization Society was formed, and in 1822, with 
Government aid, a strip of land was bought on the West African coast. The 
project of the settlement of these former slaves met with a great many 
difficulties, and not until 1847 could this experiment be called successful. 

In that year Liberia became a republic and adopted a constitution identical 
with our own, and from that time on took its place among the nations. 
The American Firestone Rubber Company erected several plants there a 
few years ago and which provide work for a great many people. The popu- 
lation consists of about 1,800,000, and its capital, the city of Monrovia, has 
about 11,000 inhabitants. 

The first copper coins were made in the United States, probably in Massa- 
chusetts. They were the size of our large cents and dated 1833. The ob- 
verse shows a nude man leaning against a palm tree, with a ship to the left, 
"Liberia" above the tree, the date on the bottom. The reverse inscription 
reads "The American Colonization Society Founded A. D. 1816. One Cent." 
There are several -varieties of these pieces with large and small ships and 
different branches on the tree dividing the word Liberia above. Diameter 
28 mm. 

The next issued is dated 1847 and consists of a one and a two cent piece, 
both of copper. The obverse shows a Liberty head with star on cap, and a 

Issues of Id37. 

border with incus inscription. "Republic of Liberia" above, three stars 
below bust. On the truncation of the bust the initials W. J. T. for W. J. 
Taylor. The reverse has a palm tree and ship to the right, incuse inscrip- 
tion on border. "On Cent" or "Two Cents" above tree, one star on each 
side, the date 1847 on the bottom. 28 mm. and 35 mm. respectively. 

I have in my collection a one-cent piece dated 1847 in brilliant proof, 
with several die breaks on the obverse. 

There are also one and two cent pieces of 1862. The obverse is the same 
as the previous issue. The reverse has two stars instead, one on each side, 
otherwise no change except the date. 

A full set of five coins, consisting of one and two cents in bronze, and 
10, 25, and 50 cent pieces in silver, dated 1896, was issued. The obverse, 
the same on all five pieces, shows a new Liberty head without cap to the 
left. Above the head, "Republic of Liberia," below a star and a small H 
for Heaton & Son, Birmingham, England. The reverse of the bronze pieces 
have a palm tree, rising sun on the left, a ship and fiying bird to the right, 



Alfred Fisk Grotz 

In speaking to you of the coinage of the Grand Masters of the Ancient 
Knights of Malta I do so with the thought of bringing to your attention the 
different inscriptions, mottoes or legends that the various Grand Masters 
used on the coins of their particular period, to point out to you how many 
of these inscriptions could well be used to guide the path of the present-day 
Knights of Malta, and to impress on your minds the deep religious convic- 
tions of the Ancient Knights. We do not realize the importance these 
legends were to the Ancient Knights, who regarded them as their rallying 
cries and revered their use. 

The histories of the Knight Hospitallers tell of the deeds of valor on the 
fields of battle, their prowess in combatting the Turks and Infidels when they 
laid siege to the forts and strongholds of these valiant defenders of the 
Christian Faith against the teachings of the Bast. These histories can be 
divided into two general classes; those who wrote from the Masonic point 
of view, and those who differed with these ideas. These histories deal with 
the Ancient Knights more as a whole and give them credit for the many 
deeds of valor and courage ascribed to them as individuals. But to com- 
prehend the real character of the Grand Masters we must turn to their 
coins and read the legends thereon, for there we find expressions that denote 
the intimate nature of the individuals. 

To the numismatist a coin is as a page from history, and many a coin has 
bridged a gap in secular history and has confirmed or disputed and corrected 
the chronology of kings, emperors, rulers and nations. 

The history of the Hospitallers is so well know that it is unnecessary to 
repeat it at this time, and I only want to give you a few dates in the histories 
of the "Knights of the Temple" or "Templar Knights" and the "Teutonic 
Order of Knighthood" to show their relations to the Knights Hospitallers of 
Palestine, Rhodes and Malta. 

The Order of the Hospitallers, successively known as HIP "Knights Hos- 


pitallers of the Order of St. Jolm of Jerusalem," the "Knights of Cyprus," 
"Knights of Rhodes" and "Knights of Malta," are now carrying on as "The 
Ancient and Illustrious Order of Knights of Malta," had their origin in 
Jerusalem in 1048, when Latin merchants of Amalfi built a cloister near the 
Holy Sepulcher consecrated to the Virgin, and a chapel dedicated to St. John 
the Baptist. 

The Templar Knights was founded in 1118 or 1119. Rules governing 
them were confirmed by Honorius II in 1228, the Red Cross had been as- 
signed to them by Eugenius III in 1146; they were destroyed by Philip IV 
and Pope Clement V, and their suppression decreed by the 15th General 
Council in 1311, and their wealth given to the Hospitallers. 

The Tetutonic Order was founded by Frederick, Duke of Suabia, in 1190, 
confirmed by Pope Celestine II, and invested with the same privileges as the 
Knights Templars and Hospitallers by a bull of Celestine II in 1192. They 
were crushed by Napoleon in 1809. 

The Knights Hospitallers never strove for temporal power, but adhered 
to their ancient vows and purpose of freeing the Holy Land of the Turks 
and Infidels and to prevent the spreading of Moslemism to the lands west of 

The Teutonic Order did have ambitions in that respect and reached the 
highest step in their desires when Maximillian I became Archduke of 
Austria in 1618. 

While the Hospitallers were in Jerusalem till 1187 at Acre to 1291, and 
at Cyprus till 1309, they had no attributes of sovereignty and were not 
suffered to emit coins or money. When the Soldiers of the Cross took 
possession of the Island of Rhodes ir 1310 a considerable commerce sprung 
up with the European ports and a stable media of exchange became a neces- 
sity. Hence they began the coinage of silver money, though they were 
but a religious-military order, banded together with the purpose of steming 
the tide of Moslemism, and to a great extent under the control of the Popes 
at Rome. The Knights Templar never had this privilege, never struck coins, 
nor were recognized as a sovereign power. 

The coinage of money was started by the Hospitallers when Poulques de 
Villaret was Grand Master in 1307 to 1319. A brief description of the first 
coins will not be amiss. The coin is of silver, of the character styled by the 
French as "gros d'argent" or "great silver piece," The obverse shows the 
Grand Master himself, kneeling with folded hands in front of the Patriarchal 
Cross in the attitude of supplication. The Maltese Cross is embroidered 
on the left arm on his simple garment. His feet are bare in token of his 
humility. Around the coin near the edge is the abbreviated legend, "Fratri 
Fulcho de Villerto Dei Gratia lerosolymae," and around the Cross are the 
Greek letters "Alpha et Omega" (the beginning and the end). The reverse 
has a large Cross in the center and in two concentric circles this legend: 
"Magistro Hospitalis Conventus Sancti Johannis Hierosolimitani Rodi." 
Translating the two sides we have the English sentence, "Brother Foulques 
de Villeret by the Grace of God, of Jerusalem, Master of the Hospital of 
the Convent of St. John of Jerusalem, at Rhodes." 

This inscription differed very little for the next hundred years, except 
for the name of the Grand Master, till Grand Master Antonine Fluvian, 1421- 
1437, placed this epigram on his coins: "Sit tibi, Christe, datus, Quia tu 
Regis iste ducatus." Translated it reads: "Let this ducat be given to Thee, 
O Christ, because Thou dost rule." Which reminds us of the words of 
Christ when he said "Render therefor unto Caesar the things which are 
Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." 

Again in the Grand Mastership of Pierre D'Aubusson, 1476-1503, we find 
this inscription: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of 
the World." 

Grand Master Guy de Blanchefort in 1513 made first use of the inscrip- 
tion "In Hoc Signo Vinces" on the coins of the Hospitallers, and this motto 
or legend is made use of very much in our present-time Knights of Malta. 
In 1513 to 1521 Fabrice de Carretto, Grand Master, dedicated his coins 
"To God and the Blessed Virgin." 

One of the most trying times of the early Knights was during the Grand 
Mastership of Philippe de Villiers-L'Isle Adam, 1521-1534, usually spoken 
of as L'Isle Adam. During the long struggle with the Turks in 1522 he 
never lost his cheerfulness, and it is written of him "never once did that 

h hrv o? 1 d C ifflr!mv' SW6et * nd * lm 8t a Smile ' desert hi > whatever was 
Everyone S n thft nnL i D * e V 1; 5 Ut ^ e WaS always ^racious and kind to 
veiyone, so tnat none but loved and revered him " And this t*riiTio- 

AH ahty ii B i ; efiected in the inscription on his coins, -Brother Philip de L'Isl'e 
Adam, Master of the Hospital of Jerusalem." -Give me valor against Thin! 


mor-f S ? nsle > Gvand Master 1553-1557, felt the need for 

of tnVlo?d" S V r ' C inS bear the warnin S> "Prepare ye the way 

i * V* v A red Grand Masters of the Hospitallers was Jean de 

e-Parisot 1557-1568, better known by his family name T,a Valletta. 
successfully met the assaults of Turks, who laid siege to the Island of 
nc?'?? **? ^ t0 September 18 > 156 5> with a force twenty times as 
as the Knights, and who founded the city called by his name Vallette 
He was a deeply religious Grand Master and his piety and religious fervor 
were expressed on the coins, that among others bore these legends "It is 
not money we want, but faithful service," "On account of Truth and Justice," 
fMit " n Ba Ptist, Pray for us," and "Under this sign (The Cross) we 

I show you a coin of Grand Master Pierre de Monte, 1568-1572, a four- 
tari piece. On the obverse is the Grand Master's Shield, in whose quarter- 
! RH ,? re branches of olives, and monticules or little mountains, from which 
cne Grand Master got his name, Monte. The reverse is the same as had 
been used by La Vallette, the head of St. John surrounded by an inscription 
reading, Propter Veritatem et Justitiam." Translated, "On account of 
Truth and Justice." 

The following Grand Masters made use of inscriptions used by former 
Orand Masters: John Levesque de la Cassiere, 1572-1581, "Give me valor 
against Thine Enemies." Hugo de Loubena de Verdalle, 1582-1595 "Not 
Money but Fidelity." 

I next invite your attention to the coins of Grand Master Alofio de Wigna- 
uourt, 1601-1622. It is a one-tara piece of silver, dated 1619. The obverse 
shows the Grand Masters' Shield, surmounted by a Crown. On the first and 
fourth quartering are the equal Crosses of the Order; in the second and 
third quarters are three fleur-de-lys and a label. I have said that a coin is 
as a page of history, so let us read what this simple description means. It 
says that De Wignacourt was Grand Master of the Holy and Knightly Oraer 
of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, of Palestine, of Rhodes, and of 
Malta. That he was of noble birth entitled to six or eight quarterings on 
his shield; that he was of French parentage; that he was the elder branch 
or eldest son of the family. I call your particular attention to the legend 
on the coin, which means in English, "Brother Alofio de Wignacourt, Master 
of the Hospitallers: Not Money but Fidelity." And we could not find a 
better motto to guide our own lives than this one. 

There is a deep significance and a whole sermon in the legends found on 
the coins of Grand Master Raymond Perellos, 1697-1720, which reads 
"Conquer by Piety (or Devotion)": and more so of Grand Master Marc 
Antonie Zondadari, 1720-1722, on whose coins was the legend, "Forgiveness 
meets one; Vengence is sought." 

Grand Master Raymond Despuig de Moiitanegre, 1736-1741, was one of 
the least important of the Grand Masters. There was nothing in his time 
that demanded radical measures or important decisions. One historian 
wrote, "He lived, he died. This is the sum total of his biography.'* But 
He left many coins of his time and many of very excellent workmanship. 
This can "be said of nearly all coins of the Grand Masters, because they had 
the best sculptors and die cutters to be had. This two-tari piece shows the 
portrait of Despuig and the simple legend, "Brother Raymond Despuig, 
Grand Master of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem." The reverse has the Grand 
Master's Shield with the family coat-of-arms. No other inscription. 

Emamiel Pinto de Fonseca, 1741-1773, was the next Grand Master, and T 
show you three coins of his Stewardship, being 30-tari pieces. The obverse 
shows the Grand Masters' Shield surmounted by a kingly crown, topped 
with the Maltese Cross. This was the first time a kingly crown was used; 
before this time the crown was ducal. The reverse shows St. John the 
Baptist with the Standard of the Order and a Lamb at his feet. The Inscrip- 


tion reads "Brother Emanuel de Pinto, Grand Master of the Hospitallers 
and of the Holy Sepulchre. No Greater (Prophet) has arisen." This is 
the second Grand Master to refer to the Holy Sepulchre on his coins, the 
first being Raymond Perellos in 1699. During this time the German Branch 
rejoined the Hospitallers, and for the second time the Jesuits were expelled 
from the Order and from the Island of Malta. 

4 Tari of Emmanuel Pinto, 1757. 

Emmanuel de Rohan Polduc, 1775-1797, is remembered more especially 
for his deeds of charity at the time of the devastating earthquakes at 
Calabria in 1783, and summoning a Chapter General to Malta, the first to be 
called since 1631. His coins show on the obverse a bust of De Rohan with 
the legend "Brother Emmanuel de Rohan, Grand Master of the Hospital 
and Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem." On the reverse a shield surmounted 
with a Kingly Crown, topped with the Maltese Cross. Also during the term 
of De Rohan a new Langue was established, (1784), that of the Anglo- 
Bavarian, the old English Langue which had been inactive for two centuries 
being revived, and possessions in Bavaria being given them by Charles 
Theodore. But the glory of the Ancient Knights began to fade with the 
passing of De Rohan. 

15 Tari of Emmanuel Pinto, 17OO. 

Grand Master Ferdinand de Hompesch, 1797-1798, was a German. The 
inscription, "Brother Ferdinand Hompesch, Grand Master of the Hospital 
and Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem." With the passing of De Hompesch goes 
the last of the real Grand Masters of the Hospitallers, and Napoleon occupied 
the island that the Knights had held since 1529. 

And why, shall we ask, why was this ancient, most noble and most useful 
fraternity dissolved? The answer is "God willed it." Its usefulness was 
gone, there was no further necessity for its existence. The power of the 
Turks had vanished. The craving for pilgrimage had ceased. The Island 
of Malta was a prize for nations to contend for, and the first strong man 
who should pass that way would lay his hand upon it. That man was 
Napoleon Bonaparte. Had there been a show of resistance or defense, the 
island would not have been pillaged and destroyed by the hordes of Napo- 
leon, but would have fallen into the hands of the British who were following, 
and the priceless relics of the Ancient Knights would have been preserved 
for the descendants of that Holy Order. 

The coins of the Hospitallers form a series of genuine monuments set up 
along the road of knightly history. They extend over a period of nearly 
five centuries. They are the money by which the food was purchased, the 
hired forces paid, the ammunition bought, the clothing, medicine, arms and 
armor secured, shipping built and manned, horses bought and equipped, 


cannon, cast, charity utilized, religious services supported, and a bulwark 
maintained, against the Turks. 

Scanning one of these pieces, the history of dead ages seem to glide before 
us. It was the money for which the pirates of the Mediterranean fought, 
and plundered, and burnt, and stained that beautiful sea with blood. This 
money by thousands of pieces, lies among ruined cities, in plowed fields, 
at fountain heads, in caves, in vaults and cemeteries. Very often pieces are 

;$() Tari of Ferdinand <!< Homnesch, 1798. 

coining to light. The washing rains expose it, the spade and plow turn it 
up, the earthquake brings it to the surface. Sometimes deposits in earthen 
jars are found where the hand of fear had buried it. Oftener it is found in 
single specimens, but wherever and whenever a coin of a Grand Master of 
St. John comes to the light of day, it tells in language of indisputable truth 
of the honor and glory and fame of the noblest Order of Knighthood the 
earth has ever known. 

A g-lorious company, the Hovvt-r of men, 

The g-oodliost fellowship of famous Knights, 

Whereof this world has record. 

Tho Knights arc dust; 

Their s words are rust; 

Their souls are with the saints we trust 




The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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The Numismatist 

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